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‘Witness’ in NCB raid, man seen escorting Aryan Khan is ‘absconder’ in Pune cheating probe

Videos showing two men, K.P. Gosavi and Manish Bhanushali, escorting Aryan Khan and his friend Arbaaz Merchant to NCB office in Mumbai have raised questions about their role in the case.

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Mumbai: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had Wednesday raised questions on the involvement of two private individuals — K.P. Gosavi and Manish Bhanushali — in the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raid on the alleged rave party Saturday involving Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.

On the same day, the drug control agency claimed they were “independent witnesses” in the case.

However, while Gosavi is purportedly helping one investigative agency, it has been learnt that he is on the run from another — Pune Police.

According to an officer from Pune Police’s Faraskhana police station, who did not wish to be named, Gosavi has been declared an absconder in a 2018 cheating case.

“K.P. Gosavi is an accused in the case. We filed a charge sheet in 2019 and a proclamation has been filed under Section 82 of CrPC (Code of Criminal Procedure) that the accused is absconding,” the officer told ThePrint.

This particular case dates back to May 2018 when a Pune resident Chinmay Deshmukh filed a case against Gosavi and his company, KPG Dreamz Solutions, for an alleged fraud of Rs 3.09 lakh.

According to Deshmukh’s complaint, Gosavi and his company cheated the 22-year-old with promises of a job abroad.

Gosavi’s Facebook profile, which is now locked, states he was a private detective at Sleuths India Detectives and later with another firm, KP International World Class Services.

ThePrint reached Rajendra Landage, in charge of the Faraskhana police station, via calls for a comment but did not receive a response till the publishing of this report.

At a press conference Wednesday, NCP’s Nawab Malik pointed out videos where Gosavi could be seen escorting Khan while Bhanushali held the hand of Khan’s friend Arbaaz Merchant and was seen leading him to the NCB office in Mumbai.

Malik claimed that Bhanushali was a BJP “functionary” and questioned the presence of the two “private” individuals in the NCB raid, slamming the drug bust as “fake” and an attempt by the BJP to malign the Maharashtra government and Mumbai’s film industry.

The same evening, Gyaneshwar Singh, deputy director general of the NCB, told reporters, “Allegations levelled against the organisation may have been done by persons previously affected by legal action initiated by NCB.”

He also added that Gosavi and Bhanushali were two of the eight independent witnesses (panchas) associated with the case.

Also read: Incriminating WhatsApp chats show Aryan Khan, others involved in purchase of drugs, NCB says

Bhanushali — former BJYM functionary 

Bhanushali, the other individual involved in the NCB raid, has been identified as a BJP worker based in Kalyan-Dombivli near Mumbai.

According to party sources, Bhanushali was the vice-president of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha’s Kalyan-Dombivli unit till 2020. They added that he has mostly been inactive in the party’s local programmes.

“As of now, he doesn’t have any official responsibility. But he works with the party as a karyakarta and, looking at his Facebook profile etc, it also looks like he knows various leaders from the party in his personal capacity. I have never met him personally,” a senior BJYM leader from the area, who did not want to be named, told ThePrint.

Bhanushali’s Facebook profile, which is also locked now, featured several photographs of the BJP worker with senior leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP President J.P. Nadda, senior ministers from Gujarat and so on.

“He is not at all active in the party’s work locally. He is not seen at the party’s programmes, events. I can’t comment on what work he did when he was the Yuva morcha vice-president in Kalyan-Dombivli. In 2010, he had fought the local corporation election on a BJP ticket, but lost,” a second senior BJP leader from the Kalyan-Dombivli belt told ThePrint.

According to party sources, Bhanushali looks up to the BJP’s Ravindra Chavan, an MLA from Dombivli and a former minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government, as his political guru and is also known to travel to Delhi often.

(Edited by Rachel John)

Also read: NCB’s job is narcotics control, not headline mongering


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