The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today issued an order by which the security cover of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede has been upgraded to Z+. The category entails a security detail of 55 personnel, including 10+ NSG commandos and police personnel.
Apparently reacting to the furore across the nation against NCP leader Nawab Malik’s act of casting aspersions on Wankhede and the probe initiated against the officer, the union government has further decided that no action will be initiated on the zone director of the NCB based on other anonymous complaints against him.
The MHA, in coordination with different intelligence agencies, issues guidelines for security cover.
Malik had forwarded the letter full of charges against the Mumbai zone director of the NCB to the director-general of the agency. This is in accordance with the guidelines of the Central Vigilance Commission, the NCB said.
Nawab Malik has been targeting Sameer Wankhede since 13 January when the NCB had arrested his son-in-law Sameer Khan in an alleged drug case.
Early this month, actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was caught on a cruise ship in the company of some drug consumers, detained, questioned and arrested.
Earlier in the morning, a group of youth who have been campaigning for justice for actor Sushant Singh Rajput, who had died mysteriously last year, demonstrated in Mumbai in support of Wankhede. The narcotics officer had led the agency’s probed into Rajput’s death from the angle of a possible connection of the suspected killers with some drug mafia.
Yesterday, the officer’s father, a retired senior police inspector, said, “My name is Dnyandev Wankhede and it was the same in school, college, NCC and in the [police] department. In Marathi, it is pronounced as Dnyandev while in Hindi it is pronounced as Gyandev. I have no relation with the name Dawood and I don’t know how they have prepared this forged document. The allegations levelled are all false”.
Dnyandev Wankhede was responding to Malik’s tweets where the Maharashtra minister had claimed to post a copy of the birth certificate of Sameer Wankhede. The copy stated that his father’s name was ‘Dawood’ and that his religious identity was Muslim.
Responding to another allegation of Malik, Sameer Wankhede had himself issued a statement where he said, “My father is a Hindu and my mother late Mrs Zaheeda was a Muslim. I belong to a composite, multi-religious and secular family in true Indian tradition and I am proud of my heritage.”
A source in the MHA said that the allegations against the officer, “politically motivated or otherwise”, had led to a situation where the officer’s safety had become a cause for concern, “due to which the union government had to take the decision of heightening the said officer’s security”.
Notwithstanding the decisions of the NCB and MHA, Mumbai Police has begun a probe into the allegations of extortion made by a witness in the drugs-on-cruise case in which Shah Rukh Khan‘s son Aryan Khan, among others, is accused. A preliminary inquiry began today days after Prabhakar Sail, driver of another witness in the case KP Gosavi, made explosive allegations against the NCB Mumbai zone chief who is leading the probe into the case.
Sail’s statement was recorded at DCP Zone 1 office. Wankhede had earlier in the day visited the agency’s headquarters in Delhi on Tuesday in the backdrop of the NCB ordering a vigilance inquiry into the allegations of an extortion bid of Rs 25 crore by some agency officials, including him, and others for letting off Aryan Khan.