Aryan Khan, son of Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan, has been arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in a drug racket case.
The action of the NCB has been a matter of controversy since then due to political allegations and counter allegations. And at the center of this controversy is Sameer Wankhede, director of NCB’s Mumbai zone.
For the last few days, NCB has started a campaign against the drug racket in Bollywood. That’s why allegations are being made that Sameer Wankhede is taking action against Bollywood to stay in the news.
Sameer Wankhede and controversy are not new. While in the customs department at the Mumbai airport, he took action against some Bollywood celebrities.
Who is Sameer Wankhede?
Originally from Maharashtra, Sameer Wankhede is a 2008 batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer. He joined the Central Police Organization (CPO) for the first time in 2006 before joining the Revenue Service.
Some other departments like Intelligence Bureau, CBI, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), National Investigation Agency come under CPO. Sameer Wankhede’s father is also a former police officer.
After joining the Indian Revenue Service, Wankhede was posted in the Customs Department. He worked as Assistant Commissioner (Customs) at Mumbai International Airport for a few years.
He has also worked with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). NIA is the government agency to investigate cases related to terrorist activities.
In the year 2020, Sameer Wankhede was given the responsibility of Director of Mumbai Zone in Narcotics Control Bureau. He has been awarded the award for excellent investigation from the Union Home Ministry.
Drugs and NCB action in Bollywood?
Sameer Wankhede first came into the limelight in 2020 when he took charge of the investigation of a Bollywood drugs racket case. Bollywood’s drug connection came on the radar of NCB after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
The talk of Bollywood’s association with drugs was in full swing and Sushant Singh Rajput’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty was accused of taking drugs. NCB Mumbai arrested Riya Chakraborty. After that Sameer Wankhede turned the focus of this investigation towards Bollywood.
NCB summoned Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan, Rakul Preet Singh and Shraddha Kapoor for questioning. Famous comedian Bharti Singh was arrested for drug abuse.
NCB also questioned Bollywood actor Arjun Rampal. Action was also taken against TV actress Pratika Chauhan. In the last one year, the Mumbai Zonal Office of NCB has taken action in many drug cases.
A minister in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra and the son-in-law of NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik was also arrested in a similar case.
Sameer Wankhede told news agency ANI, “This year NCB has conducted 94 operations in Mumbai and 12 in Goa. Out of these 12 drug racket gangs have been caught.”
Sameer Wankhede is accused of targeting Bollywood to get publicity.
Wankhede and controversy
When Sameer Wankhede was posted at Mumbai International Airport, he was accused of targeting Bollywood.
While serving as Assistant Commissioner at the airport, Sameer Wankhede took action against Bollywood actors and actresses coming from abroad for evading custom duty. Sameer Wankhede fined Minissha Lamba and singer Mika Singh for tax evasion.
Wankhede was also accused of targeting Bollywood at that time but he continued his action.
It is said that when the 2011 Cricket World Cup trophy reached Mumbai airport, it was allowed to be taken out of the airport only after paying custom duty. Sameer Wankhede was posted there in the customs department at that time.
Sameer Wankhede’s Bollywood connection?
Sameer Wankhede has always been accused of targeting Bollywood. But Sameer Wankhede’s wife is an actress of Marathi and Hindi films. Sameer Wankhede married actress Kranti Redkar a few years back.
After the Aryan Khan case, there were many allegations against Sameer Wankhede. After that Kranti Redkar has written a post praising NCB.
Actress Kranti Redkar praised the work of Narcotics Control Bureau in a post on Instagram, writing, “Thank you all for your cooperation and support. We all appreciate the work of NCB and the work done by them. However, Only Bollywood is mentioned because people are interested in it. However, media has already reported that NCB has caught big gangsters. Everyone should keep this in mind. There are some people in the society, who say that NCB is only targeting Bollywood. I would ask such people to read a little… It is easy to sit at home and criticize with your expensive phone. However, when you are doing this, NCB people are fighting at the forefront. We should respect those who are fighting for our country.”
Kranti, who has not talked much about her husband’s work, has now responded to her critics on Instagram, praising her work.