Bollywood actor Salman Khan visited Shah Rukh Khan’s sea-facing Mumbai home in the late hours of October 3 as the latter grappled with the arrest of his eldest son Aryan Khan after a drug bust.
On October 3, the 23-year-old star kid was arrested after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raided a luxury cruise ship the night before and busted a party where drugs were found. Aryan was one among eight people questioned after the raids.
According to reports, the charges brought against Aryan include purchase, possession and use of banned substances. He is currently in judicial custody.
Salman was spotted in the backseat of a white SUV driving into the gate of ‘Mannat’, Shah Rukh’s plush bungalow.
Salman’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde, who famously fought for his acquittal in a controversial hit-and-run case, is Aryan’s lawyer too. In 2015,the high court in Mumbai overturned Salman’s conviction for a 2002 hit-and-run case after a lower court convicted him of culpable homicide and sentenced him to five years in jail for driving over and killing a man sleeping on a pavement. Maneshinde, who also defended Sanjay Dutt and Rhea Chakbrorty in Sushant Singh Rajput’s drug case, is on call to defend Aryan.
He is currently working on his bail and claims the arrest by the NCB was made based on some chat messages found on his client’s phone.
“Aryan had no ticket, no cabin or seat on board the cruise. He was there because he had been invited. He didn’t even have a boarding pass. Nothing has been found on him. He was arrested on the basis of chat only,” said the lawyer to the local press.
Meanwhile, Shah Rukh is yet to make an official comment on his son’s arrest but was spotted leaving for the lawyer’s office when the arrest was imminent.
An old interview of Shah Rukh in a chat show proudly claiming that he will be a liberal father who will allow his son to do drugs and lead a hedonistic life is now going viral on social media.
In the interview conducted by actress and host Simi Garewal, when asked if he was going to spoil his son rotten, Shah Rukh replied: “No, not at all I’ve just told him when he is three or 4 years old he can run after girls, smoke as much as he wants, he can do drugs, he can have sex, he can womanise.”
At that time, his comments, probably said in jest, were frowned upon but is now gaining significance after his son was caught in a drug bust raid.
After Aryan’s arrest rocked Bollywood and re-ignited debates of a drug nexus in show business, actor Suniel Shetty came out in support of the young lad. Shetty implored the media to give Aryan a chance.
“I would like to say that wherever there is a raid, several people are caught. And we assume that this child must have consumed drugs or this child must have done it. But the proceedings are on, let’s give that child a breather ... Whenever something happens in Bollywood, the media scrutinises everything and jumps to conclusions. Give the child an opportunity. Let the real reports come out. Baccha hai (He’s a kid). Taking care of him is our responsibility,” said Shetty at a media event.
The silence of the majority in Bollywood isn’t surprising as Bollywood is notoriously clannish and is known to flock together if their own in privileged circles is attacked.