Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday criticised the “witch hunting” of actor Shah Rukh Khan in relation to arrest of his son Aryan Khan in a drugs case.

Aryan Khan was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau on Sunday after the agency raided a party on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai and seized drugs on board.

In a tweet on Monday, Tharoor called for empathy for Aryan Khan for the the “public glare” that he had been facing.

“I am no fan of recreational drugs & haven’t ever tried any, but I am repelled by the ghoulish epicaricacy displayed by those now witch-hunting Shah Rukh Khan on his son’s arrest,” he said in a tweet. “Have some empathy, folks. The public glare is bad enough; no need to gleefully rub a 23yr [year] old’s face in it.

On Monday, a magistrate’s court in Mumbai remanded all eight accused in the case, including Aryan Khan, to custody of the Narcotics Control Bureau till October 7. Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, representing the anti-narcotic agency told the court that the accused had to be confronted and that alleged “international transactions” related to the case needed to be investigated.

The advocate added that they had found “incriminating material” in WhatsApp chats of the accused which linked them to “international drug trafficking”.

Meanwhile, Aryan Khan’s lawyer Satish Maneshinde had applied for bail, contending that his client had no ticket or seat on board the cruise and that he had been invited.

“He was arrested on the basis of [the] chat only,” the lawyer argued.

The Narcotics Control Bureau had seized 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy) and Rs 1,33,000 from the cruise ship.