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Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede Image Credit: ANI

The twists and turns in the Aryan Khan case continue to spin out fast and furious. According to the latest update, a defamation case has been filed by the father of the zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau who has been facing the media storm these past few weeks.

Sameer Wankhede’s father has filed a defamation suit in the Bombay High Court against cabinet minister Nawab Malik and sought Rs12.5 million in damages. Malik had earlier alleged that Wankhede was born a Muslim but he forged documents, including a caste certificate to get recruitment under quota after clearing his exams to be recruited.

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Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik Image Credit: ANI

Malik even went on to release Wankhede’s supposed birth certificate, along with his marriage license on social media, which named the government officer’s parents as well.

According to a report in India Today, Wankhede’s father Dhyandev Kachruji Wankhede wants a permanent injunction restraining Malik and others “acting under his instructions” from publishing, writing or speaking in the media about the family.

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Supporters of Sameer Wankhede protest outside NCB Mumbai office Image Credit: ANI

The suit reportedly states the Maharashtra minister has done “irreparable loss, damage, harm, prejudice to the name, character, reputation and societal image of plaintiff and his family members”, besides destroying the practice of the senior Wankhede’s daughter Yasmeen, a criminal lawyer who has nothing to do with the case.

Critics state that Malik has a personal vendetta against Wankhede as he is the officer in-charge of a case in which Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan is involved.

Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, arrives at the NCB office to mark his weekly presence as per bail conditions set by Bombay High Court, in Mumbai, Friday, November 5, 2021.
Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, arrives at the NCB office to mark his weekly presence as per bail conditions set by Bombay High Court, in Mumbai, Friday, November 5, 2021. Image Credit: PTI

The news comes a day after a Special Investigation Team (SIT) landed in Mumbai to take over the managing of six cases, including Aryan’s drugs-on-cruise investigation that was under the anti-drugs agency’s Mumbai Zonal Unit.

However, clarifying their stance, NCB Deputy Director General Sanjay Kumar Singh told media personnel that his team will take the assistance of NCB Zonal Director Wankhede rather than freezing him out from the cases at hand.

The NCB also clarified that Wankhede was never the actual investigating officer of the cases, including the Aryan drug bust, but in his capacity as the Zonal Director was overlooking the probes. Wankhede also clarified his stance with ANI.

Sameer Wankhede
Sameer Wankhede Image Credit: ANI

“I was never the investigating officer of the cases. I am still the zonal director. I have not been removed from my posts. In fact, I demanded in the petition to investigate the allegations over me by central agencies,” he stated.

“I have not been removed from the investigation. It was my writ petition in court that the matter be probed by a central agency. So [the] Aryan case is being probed by Delhi NCB’s SIT. It is in coordination between NCB teams of Delhi and Mumbai,” Wankhede said.

Malik calls a press conference

Nawab Malik
Nawab Malik Image Credit: IANS

In a press conference earlier today, Malik accused Bhartiya Janata Party leader Mohit Kamboj as the mastermind behind the arrest of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan, which he described as a case of “kidnapping and ransom”.

“Aryan Khan didn’t purchase the ticket for the cruise party. It was Pratik Gaba and Amir Furniturewala who brought him there. It’s a matter of kidnappings and ransom. Mohit Kamboj is the mastermind and partner of Sameer Wankhede in demanding ransom,” Malik claimed at the press conference.

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Aryan Khan with his father Shah Rukh Khan Image Credit: GN Archives

Malik also claimed that Shah Rukh Khan was threatened from the very first day but has remained mum because his manager Pooja Dadlani’s name came up in allegations of extortion in the drugs case.

“Giving ransom if your son is kidnapped is not a crime,” Malik said in defense of the superstar.

Malik has further claimed that Kamboj is close to NCB officer Wankhede and that he met with the latter at a cemetery on the night of October 7, days after Aryan was arrested on the cruise that was bound for Goa from Mumbai on October 2.

After spending 28 days in jail, Aryan is currently out on bail.