The war of words between Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik and Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officer Sameer Wankhede escalated on Monday, with the former alleging that the latter’s sister-in-law was involved in drugs business. Responding to the charge, Wankhede stressed that he had nothing to do with the case cited by Malik.
It began with a fresh attack on Wankhede, in which the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader sought to know from the NCB’s zonal director for Mumbai if the latter’s sister-in-law was indeed engaged in drugs trade. “Sameer Dawood Wankhede, is your sister-in-law Harshada Dinanath Redkar involved in the drug business? You must answer because her case is pending before the Pune court,” the minister tweeted, sharing screenshot of a document which shows Harshada Dinanath Redkar listed under ‘Respondent and Advocate.’
The screenshot also shows that the case was registered on January 14, 2008, under Section 3458 of the Prevention of Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs And Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The first hearing took place on February 18, 2008, with the next scheduled for March 18, 2022, it further showed.
Meanwhile, responding to the NCP leader, Wankhede questioned those linking him to the case. “I wasn’t even in the service when the case happened in January 2008. I married Kranti Redkar in 2017. How am I associated with it anyway?” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
This latest attack by Malik comes a day after he alleged that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Mohit Bharatiya, also known as Mohit Kamboj, was the mastermind behind the recent drugs-on-cruise case, which was being probed by a team led by Sameer Wankhede. The minister has, throughout this episode, levelled a series of allegations against the officer, including that he forged his birth certificate to secure job under the Scheduled Caste category, framed people in 26 fake cases etc.
Last Friday, the anti-drugs agency transferred a total of six cases being investigated by its Mumbai unit to its operations branch in Delhi. These include the drugs-on-cruise case and a case in which Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan was arrested by the NCB in January this year. Khan was granted bail on September 27.