Zonal Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Sameer Wankhede has reportedly been removed as lead investigating officer in cruise ship drug case in which Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan is the prime accused.
According to NDTV, a special investigation team (SIT) will now take over the case. Besides Aryan Khan case, six other cases which were being handled by Wankhede have also been transferred to the SIT.
The NCB however issued a press release stating that no officer has been removed from the case. Instead, a SIT comprising officers from Operations Branch of NCB has been constituted to take over 6 cases which have national and international ramifications.
"No officer or officers have been removed from their present roles and they will continue to assist the Operations Branch as required until any specific orders are issued to the contrary," the NCB press release said.
Wankhede has been embroiled in controversy after allegations of extortion and corruption surfaced against him in relation to Aryan Khan case.
This was after an affidavit was filed by Prabhakar Sail, an independent witness in the case, which was widely circulated in the media in which it was alleged that the NCB made Sail sign a blank panchnama in the cruise ship drugs case.
The affidavit also spoke about overhearing a telephonic conversation as per which ₹25 crores was demanded to settle the Aryan Khan drug case.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik had also accused Wankhede of forging caste certificate.
As per reports, Malik had claimed during press conferences that Wankhede is a Muslim but had secured post in Indian Revenue Service in the reserved category for Scheduled Castes. Malik also released the purported birth and marriage certificates of Wankhede on his social media handles to corroborate his claim.
Two Dalit organisations have filed complaints with the District Caste Scrutiny Committee seeking probe into the authenticity of Wankhede's Scheduled Caste certificate.