Indian Minister Claims Anti-Narcotics Team's Raid on Cruise Ship Was 'Fake' to Frame People
15:40 GMT 06.10.2021 (Updated: 10:39 GMT 19.07.2022)
India’s film industry has come under the Narcotics Control Bureau's spotlight ever since Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput died under mysterious circumstances last year. The anti-narcotics team has been investigating a possible link between his death and a Bollywood drug syndicate.
A minister in the Maharashtra state cabinet claimed on Wednesday that a raid conducted by the federal Narcotics Control Bureau
(NCB) on a luxury cruise last week was “fake”. He alleged that the NCB’s objective was to “frame” those arrested in connection with the case.
Nawab Malik, who is also a politician for the Nationalist Congress Party, claimed in a press conference: "There was no seizure [of drugs] made on the cruise [ship]. All the photos released are ones clicked at the NCB office."
Malik said that the federal anti-narcotics body
’s office in Mumbai went on the alert after the death of Bollywood superstar Sushant Singh Rajput.
"News was planted and there was an attempt to defame the film industry. A perception was created that Bollywood had become the nexus of the drug trade
," he said.
The NCP lawmaker went on to allege that some functionaries belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were part of the NCB raid on Cordelia Cruises' Empress ship last Saturday.
The NCP leader told reporters that a person by the name of "KP Govasai" was seen bringing in Aryan Khan, the 23-year-old-son of Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan (SRK), to the NCB office in Mumbai.
Referring to a photo which has gone viral, Malik said: "[KP Govasai] took a selfie with Aryan Khan. The NCB released a statement saying that he has nothing to do with the NCB."
Demanding clarification over what connection Govasai had with the NCB, he also asked why he was present during the raid.
Reacting to the allegations of the NCP lawmaker, NCB deputy Director General Gyaneshwar Singh said that if the NCP wants to go the court, they can go and seek justice. “We have done everything as per law,” he added.
On Sunday, eight people in all, including Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, were arrested by the drug enforcement agency during the raid on Saturday.
Several Bollywood celebrities - including Salman Khan, Suniel Shetty and Pooja Bhatt - have come out to express their support for Khan. However, NCB chief Sameer Wankhede has made it perfectly clear that no one is above the law, whether celebrity or no.