The Mumbai cruise ship drug bust took a political turn on Wednesday after Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik alleged that a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and a private investigator were a part of the NCB raid on Saturday, following which actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was detained.
He also claimed that no drugs were seized at the cruise and it was a “fake” raid.
In the press conference, Malik identified the two non-uniform persons present during the raid as Manish Bhanushali, a national vice-president of the BJP, and KP Gosavi, a private investigator. He asked why the NCB had let the two perform the role of law enforcement officers.
Showing a video of Gosavi, he said, “The man seen holding Aryan Khan’s hand and taking him inside the NCB office is named KP Gosavi. Subsequently, there was a photo released of him with Khan inside the NCB office. NCB officials later claimed that Gosavi was not an NCB official. If he was not an official, what was he doing inside the NCB office with Khan?”
Revealing another video of Bhanushali taking the hand of another accused, Malik said, “The second person who can be seen holding the hand of Arbaaz Merchant and taking him into the NCB office is Manish Bhanushali. As per his own social media feed, he holds the BJP vice president’s post. There are numerous pictures of him with senior BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Devendra Fadnavis. The NCB will have to explain why this man was with them during the raid.”
“For the past year, the BJP has been engaging in fraudulent activities in order to defame the Maharashtra government and the Mumbai film industry. The whole drama that took place on October 3 was also fake,” Malik said at the press conference.
He further added that ever since the death of Sushant Singh Rajput, the NCB has targeted the Hindi film industry and the state of Maharashtra.
Talking to Indian Express, Bhanushali said, “I had received information regarding the drugs party on the cruise ship from a friend through WhatsApp on October 1. That friend had overheard a conversation regarding the party. I went to inform the NCB officials on October 2.”
“I had more information than NCB officials and I was being updated constantly by my friend due to which they asked me to accompany them,” he further said, adding that he was told to come along as a witness and to sign some documents.
The NCB said on Wednesday that it had done everything according to the law. “If they (the NCP) want to go to the court, they can go and seek justice. We will reply there,” said the agency’s Deputy Director-General Gyaneshwar Singh.
Meanwhile, Khan is set to appear in court on Thursday, which marks the end of his NCB custody, to appeal for bail once again.