‘No such information’: Maharashtra home minister on NCB official Sameer Wankhede’s stalking claim
Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse Patil said on Tuesday he did not have any information about senior officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), including Mumbai zonal director of the agency Sameer Wankhede, being watched by the Mumbai Police. “I have no such information and no such orders have been issued," Dilip Walse Patil said on the reports that Wankhede, who is supervising the probe into the recent high-profile cruise ship drugs bust case, is being followed.
Sameer Wankhede, a senior Indian Revenue Service (IRS) official, met Maharashtra director general of police Sanjay Pandey along with his senior officials in the bureau on Monday and complained that some people have been following him for the past few days. He has also filed a police complaint in Mumbai and given CCTV footage in support of his claim alleging two policemen were monitoring his movements, news agency PTI reported citing an NCB official on Monday. The NCB official told PTI that Wankhede regularly visits a cemetery in Oshiwara where his mother has been buried after her death in 2015. He added that two officials, reportedly from the Oshiwara police station, allegedly went to the cemetery and took CCTV footage to monitor Wankhede's movement.
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Wankhede busted the high-profile cruise drug party on October 2 and arrested Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan and his friend Arbaaz Merchant in connection with the case. The 2008 batch official has been dealing with high-profile drug-related cases since he took over as zonal director of the central agency and has been part of multiple high-profile raids. Wankhede also investigated the 2020 drug case linked to the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput and several other matters related to narcotics involving high-profile people.
Under his leadership, the NCB has arrested more than 100 people, including actor Rhea Chakraborty, her brother and many drug peddlers. Wankhede also arrested senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik’s son-in-law in a drug case in January this year.