Mumbai | Jagran News Desk: Reiterating his allegations against the Narcotics Control Bureau's (NCB) probe in the cruise drugs case, in which Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son was arrested along with 8 others, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and minister in Maharashtra government, Nawab Malik, on Saturday claimed that the anti-drugs agency had arrested 11 people initially from the Cordelia cruise ship off Mumbai coast, but freed three people, including BJP leader Mohit Bharatiya's brother-in-law, a couple of hours later.

Nawab Malik alleged that Bharatiya's brother-in-law Rishabh Sachdeva was among those three persons who were freed by the NCB. Two others - Pratik Gabba and Aamir Furniturewala - who had brought Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, to the cruise party, were released along with Sachdeva two hours after their detention, the minister further added.

"After raid on a cruise ship off Mumbai coast, NCB's Sameer Wankhede had said that 8-10 people were detained. But the truth is that 11 people were detained. Later, 3 people-Rishabh Sachdeva, Prateek Gaba and Amir Furniturewala were released", Nawab Malik said as quoted by ANI.

Nawab Malik also tweeted videos from October 2 night in which Rishabh Sachdeva, Amir Furniturewala and Prateek Gaba can be seen exiting the NCB office after detention. Earlier he had also posted a video in which the three can be seen entering the NCB office after their detention from the Cordelia cruise off the Mumbai coast.

"The names of Pratik and Aamir figured in the ongoing hearings in the court. We want to ask NCB that when they had detained 11 people after cruise ship raid, then on whose directions did they release the 3 people. We demand NCB to reveal the facts. We think there might've been some talk b/w Sameer Wankhede and BJP leaders", he added.

The NCP leader demanded that the call records of these three persons along with that of Wankhede be examined. "Rishabh Sachdeva's father and uncle came to the NCB office and telephonic conversations happened between Wankhede and the BJP leaders in Mumbai and Delhi from the phone of Sachdeva's father," Malik claimed.

"Why were the phones of these three persons not seized?" he asked. According to Malik, the Mumbai police were also given information that 11 persons had been detained from the cruise ship.

Malik also alleged that the NCB's raid on the cruise was fake, planned and conspired to defame the film industry and the Maharashtra government. "Selective people have been arrested. The matter is serious. CCTV footage should be taken and a detailed inquiry should be conducted," the minority affairs minister alleged.

When contacted, Bharatiya declined to immediately comment on the NCP's allegation, but his office said he would hold a press conference later in the day. Malik had earlier announced that on Saturday he would reveal the name of the BJP leader, whose brother-in-law, he claimed, was let off by the anti-drug agency.

Based on a tip-off that a party was to take place onboard the ship, an NCB team led by its zonal director Sameer Wankhede had raided the Cordelia cruise last Saturday and claimed to have recovered banned drugs. A total of 18 persons have been arrested in the case, including Aryan Khan.

On Friday, Mumbai's Esplanade court rejected the bail pleas of Aryan Khan, Munmun Dhamecha and Arbaz Merchant, terming the bail application 'not maintainable' in the court. The male accused were later sent to Arthur Road jail where they would be kept at the quarantine cell of the prison, while the female accused were sent to Byculla's women prison.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan