Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik on Wednesday tweeted a copy of Narcotics Control Bureau officer Sameer Wankhede’s purported marriage certificate, on which his name is listed as “Sameer Dawood Wankhede”.
Wankhede, the zonal director of the anti-drugs agency, is heading the investigation into the case in which actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan has been arrested.
Malik has accused Wankhede of a number of wrongdoings related to the investigation, including extortion.
On October 25, Malik had tweeted what he claimed was a copy of Sameer Wankhede’s birth certificate, which cited his religion as Muslim. Sameer Wankhede’s father, Malik claimed, was born into a Dalit family, but married a Muslim woman and converted to Islam, PTI reported. He took the name “Dawood”, Malik added.
Malik alleged that Sameer Wankhede had produced a forged birth certificate to get his job under the Scheduled Caste category. “As per the law, Dalits who are converted to Islam do not get the quota,” Malik said, according to PTI.
On Wednesday, Malik tweeted a purported photo from Wankhede’s first marriage to a Muslim woman named Shabana Qureshi. Malik also shared their “nikah nama” or marriage certificate.
The Nationalist Congress Party leader said that the matter was not about religion. “I want to bring to light the fraudulent means by which he [Wankhede] has obtained a caste certificate to get an IRS [Indian Revenue Services] job and has deprived a deserving Scheduled Caste person of his future,” Malik, whose party is a part of the coalition government in Maharashtra, wrote in a tweet.
At a press briefing later on Wednesday, Malik said he would quit politics if the documents shared by him on Twitter are proven wrong.
“Sameer Wankhede should apologise to the people and accept that he has tampered with documents,” Malik added. “ I am not asking him [Wankhede] to resign but as per law, he will lose his job.”
Wankhede has spoken out against the publicising of his private documents. “It is intended to malign me, my family, my father and my late mother,” he had said on Monday, according to The Hindu.
Wankhede added that he belonged to a composite, multi-religious and secular family. “My father Dnyandev Kachruji Wankhede retired as Senior Police Inspector of State Excise Department, Pune on 30.06.2007,” he had said. “My father is a Hindu and my mother late Mrs Zaheeda was a Muslim.”
The NCB officer also spoke about his first marriage: “I married Dr. Shabana Qureshi in 2006 in a civil marriage ceremony under the Special Marriage Act, 1954,” Wankhede added, according to India Today. “Both of us divorced mutually through Civil Court under the Special Marriage Act in the year 2016. Later in the year 2017, I married Shrimati Kranti Dinanath Redkar.”
However, the Narcotics Control Bureau’s Deputy Director General (Northern Region) Gyaneshwar Singh has said that Wankhede will remain the investigating officer in the case unless substantial information is found against him, ANI reported.
Wankhede on Wednesday recorded his statement before a team headed by Singh in connection with the extortion allegations, according to PTI.
Singh said that the anti-drugs agency collected some documents related to the case from its western zone office. “We will collect some more documents from him in the coming time, and if required, we will get more information from him,” he added.
Wankhede let off ‘international drug mafia’ on cruise ship: Malik
Malik also alleged that an “international drug mafia” member along with his partner was on the cruise ship when the NCB conducted the raid and arrested Aryan Khan and others. The Maharashtra minister alleged that Wankhede was a “friend” of the drug trafficker and so he let him off.
“I have videos from the cruise where this bearded international drug mafia is dancing with his lover,” Malik said at the press conference, ANI reported. “Officials have told me that he had been in custody in Tihar Jail [in Delhi] and in Rajasthan. He was not arrested since he was friends with Sameer Wankhede.”
Extortion accusations in Aryan Khan case
Wankhede and other officials of the Narcotics Control Bureau are also facing a vigilance inquiry in the cruise ship case.
Khan was detained by the Narcotics Control Bureau after a raid on a cruise party off the coast of Mumbai on October 2. He has not yet been granted bail.
The agency claimed to have seized 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of mephedrone, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy) and Rs 1.3 lakh from the ship.
On Sunday, Prabhakar Sail, a witness in the case, had claimed that he had overheard private investigator Kiran Gosavi talk about a Rs 18-crore deal, of which Rs 8 crore was to be paid to Wankhede.
Sail also claimed that soon after Khan’s arrest, he was made to sign on 10 sheets of blank paper at the Narcotics Control Bureau office.
Sail is the bodyguard of Gosavi, who took a selfie with Aryan Khan inside the anti-drug agency’s office. Gosavi, also a witness in the case has gone missing, Sail claimed in an affidavit on Sunday.
On Wednesday, Gyaneshwar Singh said that a five-member team of the Narcotics Control Bureau has begun investigating into Sail’s allegations, ANI reported. “Through media, I request them [Gosavi and Sail] to join the investigation and give evidence before the special enquiry team which is camping at CRPF mess in Bandra, Mumbai,” he added.