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Now Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik says NCB’s Wankhede lied about religion to get IRS job

NCB officer Sameer Wankhede issued a statement denying allegations, accusing Malik of causing ‘mental and emotional pressure’ with his ‘defamatory and slanderous attacks’.

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Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Minister Nawab Malik has levelled fresh accusations at Sameer Wankhede, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer investigating the alleged drug bust involving Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.

Taking to Twitter Monday, Malik alleged that Wankhede, an IRS officer who serves as Zonal Director of the NCB in Mumbai, used forged documents to get his job. To back his allegation, he posted a copy of Wankhede’s birth certificate, which shows his father’s name as different from the one mentioned in his service records. 

Wankhede subsequently issued a statement denying the allegations, adding that the publication of his personal documents on Twitter is “defamatory in nature and unnecessary invasion of family privacy”.

The birth certificate tweeted by Malik Monday morning mentioned Wankhede’s father’s name as Dawood Wankhede. In the officer’s service records, his father’s name is mentioned as ‘Dnyandev Wankhede.’ 

This is from where Sameer Dawood Wankhede’s forgery started, Malik wrote in Hindi. 

ThePrint accessed the Civil Services Examination candidate information list maintained by the Department of Personnel and Training. It mentions that Wankhede applied for the job under the Scheduled Caste quota and was allotted the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) cadre. With the birth certificate, Malik was implying that Wankhede is originally a Muslim. Dalit Muslims are not eligible for benefits under the Scheduled Caste quota. 

Also Read: Customs, service tax, drugs: If Bollywood is in trouble, Sameer Wankhede, IRS, must be around

Father is a Hindu, mother a Muslim’

In his statement responding to Malik’s claims, Wankhede said his father “Dnyandev Kachruji Wankhede” retired as senior police inspector in the Maharashtra state excise department, Pune, on 30 June 2007. 

“My father is a Hindu, and his late mother was a Muslim, and my mother Late Mrs Zaheeda was a Muslim. I belong to a composite, multi-religious and secular family in true Indian tradition,” he added.

On Monday, photographs from Wankhede’s first marriage also went viral. Malik also tweeted a cropped image of a younger Wankhede with a caption, “Pehchaan Kaon? (Guess who?)”

To this, Wankhede said, “I married Dr Shabana Qureshi in 2006 in a civil marriage ceremony under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. Both of us divorced mutually through civil court under the Special Marriage Act in the year 2016.” 

In 2017, Wankhede married Marathi actor Kranti Redkar, and the couple has twin daughters. 

Wankhede said the publishing of his personal documents on Twitter is intended to malign him, his family, his father and his late mother. 

“The series of acts of Honourable Minister over the past few days have put me and my family under tremendous mental and emotional pressure. I am pained by the nature of personal, defamatory and slanderous attacks by Honourable Minister without any justification,” Wankhede said. 

This is just the latest exchange in the increasingly controversial drug bust that involved Aryan Khan, who is currently under arrest. 

Wankhede led the team that carried out the 2 October raid on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai where Aryan Khan and friends were allegedly detained for drug-related offences. Malik has since sought to allege a conspiracy, making public statements to poke holes in the NCB’s investigation. 

Among other things, the minister has questioned the presence of a man identified as K.P. Gosavi at the NCB headquarters during Aryan’s arrest, despite the fact that he is not associated with the agency. Gosavi is believed to have absconded since. Malik has claimed that the entire Aryan Khan drug bust is a fake case, and that Wankhede was in the Maldives amid Covid restrictions — at a time when a number of Bollywood personalities were at the archipelago — as he was running an extortion racket. 

Wankhede later clarified that he visited the Maldives with proper permission from his department for a family vacation after the lockdown was lifted. 

On Sunday, Wankhede approached Mumbai Commissioner of Police Hemant Nagrale, asking him to ensure there is no precipitate or hasty legal action carried out against him to frame him with ulterior motives. 

Earlier on the same day, a witness in the case, Prabhakar Sail, claimed he was made to sign on a blank paper and alleged there was talk of a payoff worth crores, pointing to the NCB zonal director as one of the beneficiaries. The NCB released a statement in response to Sail’s claims, saying Wankhede has categorically denied the allegations. 

(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)

Also Read: NCB’s Sameer Wankhede writes to Mumbai Police chief, seeks protection against being framed


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