Caste panel official backs Wankhede, says NCB officer is being targeted despite good work

Published on Nov 01, 2021 06:13 AM IST

Sameer Wankhede led the raid conducted by the NCB on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast, in which drugs were allegedly recovered and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan and others were arrested, last month.

Sameer Wankhede is leading the probe into the drugs-on-cruise case. (PTI File Photo)
Sameer Wankhede is leading the probe into the drugs-on-cruise case. (PTI File Photo)
By | Written by Meenakshi Ray, New Delhi

Sameer Wankhede, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) official in the eye of a political storm amid several allegations against him, is doing good work and making his department proud, the vice chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) has said.

"One officer is doing his duty and making the department proud. So how can a minister personally attack him and his family members? The government should carry out an investigation in why he is doing so,” Arun Halder said on Sunday after visiting Wankhede’s house, according to news agency PTI.

Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik has levelled a slew of allegations against Wankhede. Among other things, Nawab Malik has accused the officer of forging his caste certificate and other documents to secure a job under the SC quota for the civil services examination conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Wankhede is an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer. 

Also read | Caste panel official visits Sameer Wankhede's home after forgery allegations

Malik claimed that Wankhede is a Muslim by birth, which he denied later. Malik has also called the raid conducted by the NCB on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast, in which drugs were allegedly recovered and Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan and others were arrested, last month as fake. The Maharashtra minister has also accused Wankhede of playing in the hands of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sameer Wankhede told reporters that he has shared with the commission official whatever he wanted to share. Wankhede’s wife Kranti Redkar said Halder checked her husband's original caste documents while he was at their house. Redkar added that after going through the Wankhede’s documents, the official was convinced about her husband’s stand. Halder also met the NCB officer’s sister Yasmeen and father Dnyandev Wankhede.

Also read | PIL seeks CBI probe into drugs-on-cruise case over ‘interference’ by Nawab Malik

Redkar also claimed her family is in danger and that some people conducted a recce of their house. She said they will provide the CCTV footage of the Reece of their house to the police soon.

Earlier in the day, Union minister and Republican Party of India (A) president Ramdas Athawale extended his support to Wankhede and said the NCB official is a Hindu Dalit and a follower of BR Ambedkar. Athawale also asked Nawab Malik to refrain from "conspiring" to defame the NCB officer and his family members. Athawale's remarks came after Wankhede's wife and father met him.

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