The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has summoned Bollywood actor Ananya Pandey for the third round of questioning on Monday in connection with the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case. The actor faced questioning by the agency for around four hours last Thursday.
In a new turn of events in the drugs-on-cruise case, an ‘independent witness’ on Sunday claimed that an official from the anti-drugs agency and others, including absconding witness KP Gosavi, demanded ₹25 crore to let off Aryan Khan, the son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan under arrest in the case.
Prabhakar Sail is one of the nine witnesses the NCB has named in the case. He also claims to be a personal bodyguard to KP Gosavi. He reached NCB Mumbai Police Commissioner’s office on Monday.
A senior NCB official has denied the allegations, terming them as “completely false and malicious”.
Meanwhile, Sameer Wankhede, who is heading the probe, on Sunday wrote to Mumbai Police commissioner Hemant Nagrale seeking protection from likely legal action “being planned” against him by unknown persons to falsely frame him concerning an alleged vigilance related issue.
Wankhede did not mention any names but wrote in his letter that the threat of jail and dismissal have been issued against him on public media by highly respectable public functionaries.
This could be a reference to Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik who earlier said the officer will lose his job. “They (BJP) have a puppet – Wankhede. He raises bogus cases against people. I challenge that Wankhede that he’ll lose his job within a year… We have evidence of bogus cases,” news agency ANI quoted Malik as saying.
Sail also shared a video with the media which purportedly shows Gosavi recording audio of Aryan Khan at the NCB office, in which hotelier Kunal Jani, who was earlier arrested in a separate drugs case, was also briefly seen. This triggered speculation if Jani, who is the director of a prominent restaurant in Bandra, was connected to the case.
However, the NCB said that it arrested Jani in a separate drugs case and he was present at its office when Aryan Khan was brought there as the restauranter’s statement was also being recorded.
Aryan Khan was arrested on October 3 and was sent to judicial custody on October 7. He has been charged under the sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and all his bail pleas have been rejected.