After Prabhakar Sail, Kiran Gosavi and Fletcher Patel, another independent witness in the Aryan cruise case, has raised serious questions on the ways followed by the Narcotics Control Bureau’s (NCB) in the case. The panch witness Sonu Mhaske has filed an affidavit before the special court stating that he was forced to sign some papers along with blank papers and empty envelopes under the threat of false implication and arrest if he did not cooperate.
In an accompanying plea, the Dombivili resident who works as a facility manager in Aryan Khan case accused Aachit Kumar’s apartment, has stated that the affidavit he filed be taken on record as his voluntary statement free of any coercion. The NCB claims it recovered 2.6 g ganja from Aachit’s Powai residence and that there were incriminating whatsapp chats between him and Aryan.
Mhaske is one of the panch witnesses in the drug seizure panchnama from Kumar’s flat. He has said in his plea through advocate Ajay Bhise, that he has not read the contents of the document nor anyone from the agency read it out to him.
The 37-year-old said that on October 5, a security supervisor from the society came to his office and told him that he received a call from an NCB officer directing him to come to a flat to sign some papers. He said he told the supervisor not to go anywhere and that there is no need to sign any papers. The supervisor conveyed the message to the NCB officer from his phone. Mhaske’s affidavit says he then received a call from a person who introduced himself as an NCB officer and called him to the flat to sign papers or that he would have to face ‘dire consequences’. He said the officer threatened him, “You don’t know, we are police officers and will take you to the lock up and you will not come out for a long time.” The affidavit says that the officer asked him to bring one more person from the security office to sign papers. He said he and another person locked the security officer and sat there for about 40 minutes in fear of the NCB officer, but the security supervisor came to the office and told them that the NCB officer is repeatedly calling them to sign the papers.
He and Assistant Manager Umesh Ambre went to the flat and there were NCB officers there along with family members of Aachit. The officers wrote both their identity details on a paper in which there was some matter written in Hindi. “After writing our personal details they asked us to sign the papers. They did not allow us to read what was written in the papers and shouted at me that we can't wait for you to read this as we are already getting very late,” the affidavit said. After making them sign four papers in Hindi, they asked them to sign a few blank papers. When they objected, they were threatened that they would have to come to the NCB office. Mhaske further said they made him sign two brown unsealed envelopes which were empty.
He said he has received a summons from the NCB on Nov 10 to attend its office to record its statement, but has expressed his inability to attend the agency’s office as he fears the NCB officers.