In the Aryan Khan case, Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik this morning escalated his attack on Sameer Wankhede, the anti-drugs agency officer leading the drugs-on-cruise investigation. After a witness alleged payoffs in the case, putting Mr Wankhede at the centre of bribery claims, Mr Malik alleged the top NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) officer "did not follow proper rules in 26 cases".
Citing a letter from an NCB employee, "who has been working with the agency for two years", Mr Malik said: "I have received a letter from an unnamed NCB official. I am sending this letter to Director General Narcotics, requesting him to include this letter in the investigation being conducted on NCB's Sameer Wankhede. We demand there should be a probe."
"My war is not against the agency... I am fighting injustice. I am only exposing one official who got the job by fraud. Mr Wankhede used fake birth certificate to get the NCB job. He has been illegally tapping phones of some people in Thane and Mumbai," the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader told reporters.
In the letter he received, Mr Malik said, "26 cases are mentioned in which Sameer Wankhede didn't follow proper rules while investigating the matter".
Mr Wankhede has called the allegations "false and malicious." "It's his right... he can put forth his opinion," the top official said, referring to the Maharashtra minister's comments.
Talking about the letter, Mutha Ashok Jain, Director General, Narcotics Control Bureau in Mumbai, told news agency ANI: "I have seen the letter. We will take necessary action."
Earlier, in cryptic tweets, Mr Malik had said he has "received an envelope from an unnamed NCB (Narcotics Control Bureau) official", adding that he will soon be revealing the details. "Envelope of the letter received by me from an unnamed NCB official. Contents of which I will be releasing soon on Twitter. (sic)," his tweet read.
Good Morning everyone,— Nawab Malik نواب ملک नवाब मलिक (@nawabmalikncp) October 26, 2021
I am releasing soon...
Envelope of the letter received by me from an unnamed NCB official.— Nawab Malik نواب ملک नवाब मलिक (@nawabmalikncp) October 26, 2021
Contents of which I will be releasing soon on Twitter pic.twitter.com/uPAO2F5XKP
Crime drama 'Special 26', a 2013 Bollywood movie starring Akshay Kumar, found a mention in one of his posts.
The minister has been alleging collusion between the NCB and the BJP leaders in the drugs-on-cruise case in which Aryan Khan has been identified as the accused number 1.
On Monday, while speaking to NDTV, he said the NCB is "hiding" behind the case of his son-in-law who was arrested in a drugs case, portraying his criticism of the agency as a case of "personal vendetta". "This allegation is baseless. They were shielding behind the case of my son-in-law. Nine months ago, he was arrested by Wankhede (NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede). I said I have full trust in the Indian judiciary. Nobody is above the law. On 27th of the last month, he was granted bail," Mr Malik told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
Aryan Khan's bail plea will be heard in the Bombay High Court today.