Aryan Khan cruise drug raid case: BJP, NCP trade charges

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary on Saturday targeted the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alleging that a party worker named Sunil Patil was the “mastermind” of the Aryan Khan cruise drug raid case
BJP functionary Mohit Khamboj said at Saturday’s press conference that Patil, an NCP worker since its inception, had given the number of Kiran Gosavi, an independent witness in the case, to Sam D’Souza and told him that Gosavi will coordinate with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the Aryan Khan cruise drug raid case. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
BJP functionary Mohit Khamboj said at Saturday’s press conference that Patil, an NCP worker since its inception, had given the number of Kiran Gosavi, an independent witness in the case, to Sam D’Souza and told him that Gosavi will coordinate with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the Aryan Khan cruise drug raid case. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO)
Published on Nov 06, 2021 10:53 PM IST
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By, Mumbai

A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary on Saturday targeted the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alleging that a party worker named Sunil Patil was the “mastermind” of the Aryan Khan drug raid case, even as NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik alleged that Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede had attempted to “kidnap Aryan Khan” and frame him in a drug bust case after failing to get extortion money from his family.

“Wankhede tried to extort money after kidnapping Aryan Khan and later framed him in a drug bust case after his plans failed,” Malik said. When asked for a reaction to this, Wankhede refused to comment.

Wankhede and his team arrested Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan and a few others for their alleged involvement in the cruise drugs party on October 2.

BJP functionary Mohit Khamboj said at Saturday’s press conference that Patil, an NCP worker since its inception, had given the number of Kiran Gosavi, an independent witness in the case, to Sam D’Souza and told him that Gosavi will coordinate with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

Prabhakar Sail, another independent witness in the case, had alleged that Gosavi and Sam D’Souza were involved in an extortion attempt involving Shah Rukh Khan’s manager, Pooja Dadlani and Wankhede was a reported beneficiary. Sail made these allegations in a notarised affidavit on October 23.

Khamboj said that he would disclose the “entire conspiracy” with all the supporting “proof”. Though he did not name Malik, Kamboj said that a “narrative of lies [was being created] in the entire country.”

According to Khamboj, Patil contacted D’souza with information that drugs would be consumed on a cruise ship party set to sail on October 2. “Sunil Patil sent a WhatsApp message and called Sam D’Souza on October 1. He told D’souza that there is going to be a cruise party where drugs would be consumed. He said that he had information about 27 people and sought to connect to a Narcotics Department official. Sam D’souza spoke to NCB official VV Singh about this,” Khamboj said.

“The question now is, why is the cabinet minister [Nawab Malik] using Sunil Patil to create this conspiracy? A narrative of lies has been weaved since last one month linking BJP to the raid, connecting people associated with BJP as [independent] witnesses, and that Sameer Wankhede and the BJP are hand-in-glove... The minister, who is in favour of drugs, will now have to come out and respond,” he said.

Reacting to Khamboj’s charge, Malik tweeted: “A member of Sameer Dawood Wankhede’s private army just held a Press Conference to misguide and divert the attention from the truth albeit unsuccessfully. I will reveal the truth tomorrow.”

The NCP meanwhile has denied that Patil was a member of the party. NCP leaders released pictures of Gosavi and Patil with Gujarat cabinet minister Kiritsinh Rana as well as other images of Patil and Manish Bhanushali, a BJP functionary and yet another independent witness in the cruise drug party case.

“I had demanded an SIT probe to investigate Sameer Dawood Wankhede for kidnapping & ransom demand from Aryan Khan. Now 2 SITs are constituted (state & centre), let us see who brings out the skeletons from the closet of Wankhede and exposes him and his nefarious private army,” Malik tweeted on Saturday morning.

A four-member team, led by Assistant Commissioner of Police Milind Khetle was formed on October 27 to probe the allegations made by Sail. The NCB has is also conducting an internal probe against officials, including Wankhede, following Sail’s allegations.

Sail claimed to have overheard a phone call between his employer Kiran P Gosavi — another witness in the cruise ship drug raid case — and Sam D’Souza. The discussion was about a payment of 25 crore. “You put a bomb of 25 crores and let’s settle at 18 final, because we have to give 8 crores to Sameer Wankhede,” Gosavi told Sam D’Souza, according to the affidavit.

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