Mumbai, October 7th
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) announced Wednesday that two people – Manish Bhanushali and Kiran Gosavi – were among more than half a dozen of its “independent witnesses” during the October 2 rave party raid on a luxury ship, and pounded against it the Nationalist Congress Party returned for alleging allegations against the agency.
Editorial staff: Catch the big fish: Disproportionate attention to the cruise case, not the mundra haul
The NCB’s deputy director general, Gyaneshwar Singh, mocked the accusations made by NCP national spokesman and minister of state Nawab Malik as “baseless, with malice to defame the agency’s image and in retaliation for previous action by the NCB”.
Meanwhile, Manish Bhanushali, who was seen escorting Arbaaz Merchantt on the cruise ship after the NCB raid, has denied any BJP connection to the arrests made in the case.
Large synopsis | BJP’s vicious SRK game backfires. No drug found wd Aryan. But yes, BJP leader Manish Bhanushali found out that he was present at and manipulated the NCB raid. Would you like to answer BJP? Would you like to apologize to paid media? Shame on you BJP! #WeStandWithSRK pic.twitter.com/GCC5s9WKT6
– Salman Nizami (@SalmanNizami_) October 6, 2021
He said, “I received the information on October 1st that a drug party was about to be held … I gave this information as an active citizen of the country.”
Also read: Shah Rukh Khan fans say “We are with you Aryan Khan” as Twitter DPs switch to this viral photo
On Wednesday afternoon, Malik made the sensational claim that a BJP “vice president” Manish Bhanushali and another “private detective”, Kiran Gosavi, were involved in the NCB operation on Sunday.
He described the NCB raid as “fraudulent” and had also raised questions about the NCB’s seizures, which followed improper legal process and allegedly involve “outside private individuals” in their operations.
#AryanKhan and # Arbaz dealer were brought @narcoticsbureau Mumbai zone office alleged by BJP officials @nawabmalikncp at a press conference. Malik also said no seizures were made on the cruise, everything was tampered with in the office of NCB Zone Director Sameer Wankhede. pic.twitter.com/9bcXgMPThS
– فیضان خان FaizanKhan (@journofaizan) October 6, 2021
The NCB has declared that it works in a professional and legally transparent manner and that it performs its tasks impartially and that even the panchnamas were carried out in accordance with the law.
Singh added that following a tip-off on October 2, the NCB raided the Cordelia cruise ship at the International Cruise Terminal and arrested eight people including Aryan Khan, son of superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Vikrant Chhokar, Ishmeet Singh Chadha, Arbaaz A Merchant, Mohak Jaiswal, Munmun Dhamecha and Nupur Satija, besides seizing various drugs such as cocaine, mephedrone, charas, hydroponic weed and MDMA, as well as cash worth 1.33,000 rupees.
After interrogating Mohak Jaiswal, the NCB raided a location in Jogeshwari and caught a peddler named Abdul Kadir Shaikh, and on October 3, he took ecstasy and commercial quantities of mephedrone from his possession.
Later, after interviewing Ishmeet Singh Chadha, the NCB caught a peddler named Shreyas Surendra Nair and retrieved Charas from his property on Monday.
Subsequently, on Monday, the agency caught Manish Rajgaria, who was invited as a guest on the ship, and picked up hydroponic weed or multi-strain cannabis before snapping Avin Sahu, who was sailing on the ship, over consumption charges.
In a follow-up, the NCB arrested four people, namely Gopal Jee Anand, Samir Sehgal, Manav Singhal and Bhaskar Arora, from a Delhi-based event management company.
Singh said that “Independent Witnesses” included Kiran Gosavi, Manish Bhanushali, Prabhakar Sail, Aubrey Gomez, Adil Usmani, V. Waigankar, Aparna Rane, Prakash Bahadur, Shoib Faiz and Muzammil Ibrahim.
“Some of the allegations made against the NCB are unfounded and appear to be based on malice and probable prejudice, which may have been carried out in retaliation against previous legal action taken by the NCB,” said Singh siad.
Meanwhile, Bhanushali spoke to a private Marathi TV channel and said that he had given the NCB the lead on the rave party and accompanied them as a “witness” to put his signature on the relevant case papers.
In defense of the NCB, the opposition leaders (assembly) of BJP Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar (council) dismissed Malik’s charges as “frustration” over the agency’s action to capture his son-in-law in a drug case in January 2021.