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Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray to write to PM Modi over NCB's 'harassment' of celebrities

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MUMBAI: Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concerns about what he sees as the malafide actions of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and other central agencies against Bollywood celebrities as he believes these will have an adverse impact on Mumbai's and the country's economy.

Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik met Thackeray and home minister Dilip Walse Patil demanding a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the allegations of NCB's malafide raid and extortion racket. Malik said that the chief minister also raised concerns over the the anti-drug agency's malafide raids on Bollywood personalities on flimsy charges and the following harassment.

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"The chief minister said that after Hollywood, Bollywood is the only major entertainment industry in the world which not only spreads our culture but generates jobs as well. The industry's contribution is two to three per cent in they country's GDP and if it is damaged, then not only Mumbai will suffer but the country's economy will also," Malik said

The NCB has formed a five-member team to probe extortion charges against its Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede.

A five-member NCB team including deputy DG (North) Gyaneshwar Singh will leave Delhi for Mumbai on Wednesday to probe the charges against Wankhede of extortion, planting drugs and framing Bollywood celebrities along with politicians .

NCP spokesperson Sanjay Tatkare alleged, "Gyaneshwar Singh is the same person, who not only defended the agency's functioning but also protected Wankhede as well  after minsiter Nawab Malik's big expose on the involvement of a private citizen (KP Gosavi) and BJP leader Manish Bhanushali in the cruise party raid case. So, how can we expect a fair probe against Wankhede," Tatkare alleged.

Prabhakar Sail, an independent witness in the cruise drugs case, had on Sunday revealed in an affidavit and a video message that Wankhede, his middle man Sam D'Souza and Gosavi had demanded Rs 25 crore from Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan to release his son from a drug case.

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He had also alleged that Sameer Wankhede had forcibly taken his signature as a witness on ten blank pages in the cruise raid case.

Meanwhile, Malik, who welcomed the NCB's probe against Wankhede, also submitted another set of  allegations against Sameer Wankhede where it was alleged that Wankhede used to plant drugs in celebrities' houses, frame them and extort money later.

The 'Special 26' charges against Wankhede was anonymously shared by the NCB officer with Malik by post. The NCP leader submitted it to the NCB asking the charges are very serious in nature and it should should be included as part of their probe against Wankhede.

Reacting to this anonymous letter, NCB's deputy DG (South-West) Mutha Ashok Jain said that they have received the letter and decided to take cognizance of the same.

Malik further alleged that Wankhede was illegally intercepting phones of some people with the help of two private citizens in Mumbai and Thane and also said that Wankhede is checking the call records of the minister's daughters. "He is intruding into a citizen's privacy by intercepting their mobiles phone and then trapping and framing them. This is a syndicated crime that has to be probed fairly," Malik said.

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He also asked the Wankhede family that if the birth certificate of Sameer Wankhede shared by him is fake then they should share his original certificate and added that a complaint will be filed in the alleged fake caste certificate case.

"ManyDalit activists and organisations are in touch with me and soon they will be filing a complaint. Wankhede has snatched the right of an eligible SC student for becoming an IRS officer by using a false certificate," the minister said.

Meanwhile, senior lawyer and former attorney-general Mukul Rohatgi made a strong argument in the Bombay High Court during the hearing for the bail application of Aryan Khan. He said that though Aryan neither had possession of nor did he consume any drug, he was still sent to jail for 20 days.

Justice NW Sambre of the Bombay HC adjourned the hearing on Wednesday where the bail plea of other accused Arbaz Merchant and Munmum Dhamecha will be also heard.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)

39 Days ago