Maha Minister Nawab Malik Alleges BJP Links in Aryan Khan Arrest; NCB Reacts
The NCB has called Nawab Malik's allegations 'baseless' and full of 'malice'.
Video Producer: Shohini Bose, Mayank Chawla
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik has alleged that BJP leaders are part of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raid that took place onboard a Mumbai cruise on Saturday night. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan has been arrested after the raid.
Reacting to the allegations, the NCB told the media that the two individuals named by Malik are independent witnesses. One person in question, Manish Bhanushali, told ANI that he will file a defamation case against Malik and that BJP has nothing to do with the arrests.
Nawab Malik Questions Presence of Two People During Aryan Khan's Arrest
During a press conference held on Wednesday, 6 October, Malik claimed that a person named KP Gosavi was seen bringing in Aryan Khan to the NCB office. He also clicked selfie with Aryan, Malik told reporters. After the selfie went viral, NCB released a statement saying that the person has nothing to do with the agency. Malik shared a screenshot of Gosavi's Facebook profile, wherein the latter claims to be a 'private detective agent'.
Malik added that another video shows a person escorting Arbaaz Merchantt, who has been held along with Aryan, to the NCB office. He alleged that the said person is Manish Bhanushali, vice president of some wing of BJP. Malik also showed photos of the men with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Devendra Fadnavis and others.
Malik demanded that the NCB should answer as to what private people like Gosavi and Bhanushali were doing during a high-profile raid.
The minister further stated that Bhanushali was in Gujarat on 21 and 22 September when drugs were seized at the Mundra port. "He was in Gujarat Mantralay till 28 and then went to Delhi. What was Bhanushali doing in Gujarat ? Why was he meeting Gujarat ministers?" Malik asked during the press conference.
Congress spokesperson and general secretary Sachin Sawant took to Twitter to echo Malik's claims and shared a video which shows Arbaaz Merchantt and Aryan Khan being escorted by the said individuals.
Sawant also questioned whether the 'real goal' was to divert attention from the 'Mundra drug seize'.
Here are some photos that were shown by Nawab Malik at the press conference:
No Drugs Were Seized During Raid, Alleges Malik
The minister also claimed that no drugs were seized during the raid. "There was no seizure made on the cruise. All the photos released are ones clicked in the NCB office. This is just to frame Bollywood celebrities and defame the MVA govt. The raid by NCB on the cruise was fake", Nawab Malik claimed.
'We Have Done Everything as Per Law': NCB
Calling Nawab Malik's allegations 'baseless' NCB Deputy DG Gyaneshwar Singh told reporters, "Some allegations levelled against the organisation are baseless and seem to have been done with malice and probable prejudice that may have been harboured in retaliation against earlier legal action carried out by the NCB".
The NCB rubbished claims about BJP-linked members being part of the cruise raid. "Independent witnesses were part of probe, and Gosavi was one of them. All punchnamas have been made as per the process of law, which allows you to include independent witnesses", Singh said.
Singh added that drugs were indeed recovered from the raid.
"The NCB Mumbai team raided the international cruise terminal Green Gate Mumbai & Cordelia Cruises ship and intercepted 8 people on the spot along with various drugs like cocaine, charas, MDMA".Gyaneshwar Singh, NCB Deputy DG
Reiterating that all the procedures carried out by NCB are 'professional and unbiased', Singh said at the press conference, "If they (NCP) want to go the court, they can go & seek justice. We will reply there. We have done everything as per law".
Will File a Defamation Case Against Malik: Manish Bhanushali
BJP worker Manish Bhanushali, against whom Malik made the allegations, told ANI, "NCP leader Nawab Malik has levelled wrong allegations against me. BJP has nothing to do with the arrests. I received information on 1 October that a drugs party was to be held. I was with NCB officers (in the ship) for updated information".
Bhanushali added, "I don't have any official position in the BJP. Being an active citizen of the country I gave this information. I got to know that last month one of Nawab Malik's relatives was held by the NCB in a drugs case. I will file a defamation case against Malik. He has put my life in danger. I will request the authorities to provide me security".
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