Fake caste claim: Scrutiny committee gives clean chit to Sameer Wankhede
The officer courted controversy when he arrested Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, and several others in a cruise ship drug bust in October 2021
The Mumbai city district caste scrutiny committee on Friday gave a clean chit to former zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede in a ‘fake caste claim’ case, while dismissing complaints filed by some activists and former Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik, who had sought revocation of his claim that he belonged to the Hindu Mahar community, a scheduled caste.
They alleged that Wankhede, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, entered the prestigious central government service by using a fake caste certificate.
Wankhede, who is currently posted in the office of the director general of taxpayer services in Chennai, was elated by the order, and said, “Satya pareshan ho sakta hai, parajit nahi (truth cannot be defeated)... I have complete faith in the judiciary and the state of Maharashtra,”
The officer courted controversy when he arrested Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, and several others in a cruise ship drug bust in October 2021 although no contraband material was found in the possession of the 24-year-old.
Now-jailed Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik had accused Wankhede of ‘several wrongdoings’ not only in drug bust case, but also in other NCB matters.
Malik was the one who alleged that the IRS officer used false caste claim to secure the government job.
Activists Manoj Sansare, Ashok Kamble, Sanjay Kamble filed separate complaints with the caste scrutiny committee in November and December last year, seeking revocation of Wankhede’s claims, alleging that the IRS officer and his father Dhyandev converted to Islam and that the former’s school record showed his father’s name as ‘Dawood’.
The committee on Saturday dismissed the complaint, and concluded that Sameer Wankhede is not a Muslim by birth and there was no evidence to corroborate the other claims. It also dismissed complaints filed by the NCP leader and others, holding that the father-son duo indeed belonged to the aforesaid community.
Malik had accused Wankhede of forgery and fabrication of documents, and claimed that he and his family selectively declared themselves as Hindus to avail reservation benefits. To back his claims, Malik even tweeted a ‘document’, purportedly issued on April 16, 2015 by a cemetery clerk in Oshiwara, regarding the burial of Sameer Wankhede’s mother ‘Zaheda Bano’. The death certificate issued by the municipal corporation had, however, listed her as a Hindu, the NCP leader claimed.