Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal head Sameer Wankhede refuted Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik's allegations on being in Dubai during the lockdown in December 2020.
NCP leader Nawab Malik on Thursday demanded to know what was the NCB's Mumbai region chief Sameer Wankhede doing in Dubai and the Maldives with his family during the pandemic lockdown and threatened him with jail for "concocting drug cases against Bollywood personalities".
"Those are photos from Mumbai. I was in Mumbai. Nobody can hinder the truth. Find out where I was, get data from the airport. Get everything verified through my passport and visa", Wankhede clarified.
"I've never been to Dubai, whatever time he's stating that. There are mechanisms to check where a person is. So, it's completely false. I've never been to Dubai with my sister - what he's mentioning during the date and time. So, it's false & completely condemnable" Sameer Wankhede added while refusing allegations levelled by NCP spokesperson.
"My morale will not go down, it will only become even stronger. I will work even better", Wankhede said when asked if he will feel demoralised in wake of allegations against him.
In a dual attack, Nawab Malik shared photos of Wankhede's family holidaying in Maldives when the entire Bollywood was also there.
"Its very clear all this 'vasuli' (extortion) took place in Maldives and Dubai. I am releasing those photos. What was he doing in Maldives-Dubai, he must answer," Malik said at a public rally in Pune amid a thunderous applause.
Daring Wankhede to come clean on his Dubai-Maldives sojourns with family, Malik, who is the national Spokesperson of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), said attempts were made to implicate certain film folks in fake cases and parade them before the NCB.
Reacting to this Wankhede said, "The word 'extortion' is a disgusting term. I did go to Maldives after taking competent authority's permission. I went with my children and family after taking govt's permission. If he calls that extortion, then this is not acceptable"
The NCP leader declared that soon, he will "expose Wankhede with full proof on all the fake cases with which he's trying to instil fear in Bollywood," for which he would pay a heavy price.
"Within six months he will lose his job and within a year, he will be jailed. I am collecting evidence against him," he said.
"My best wishes are with him. I am just a government employee. He is a minister. If we want to put me in jail for serving the country, for working honestly and eliminating drugs menace then I welcome it", Sameer Wankhede said while talking to reporters.
Malik earlier released some photos of Sameer Wankhede's sister Jasmeen Wankhede, ostensibly shot in Maldives with captions and tagging her friends, including Fletcher Patel who had called her the 'Lady Don'.
Malik's statements got angry reaction from the opposition Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)'s film wing chief Ameya Khopkar who cautioned the NCP leader "to keep off and stop dragging" his party colleague (Jasmeen Wankhede) into his politics.
Jasmeen Wankhede also hit back, asking whether "Malik is a judge", and said she was accountable to her family or friends and the NCP leader had no business to make public her private trip.
Sameer Wankhede, who had arrested Malik's son-in-law Sameer Khan in January 2021 in an alleged drugs case, said in an anguished tone: "I fail to understand why the attacks on me, my sister, my retired father, my deceased mother, when I am merely doing my duty. The cases are sub-judice. I will give a fitting reply later."
Malik added that after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput (June 2020), Wankhede was brought to the NCB but the mystery continues whether Sushant committed suicide or it was a murder.
"But, thereafter, the NCB has started playing its games with the film industry. Dozens of stars were summoned on WhatsApp conversations. Rhea Chakraborty was arrested for some Rs 4,000 payment."
He reiterated his demand to probe the WhatsApp records of Sameer Wankhede which would reveal the "bogus" nature of the NCB's cases.
Bharatiya Janata Party state President Chandrakant Patil said that Malik is rattled by the arrest of his son-in-law and has been slamming the NCB since the past two weeks.
The war between the NCB-NCP erupted after the probe agency raided a rave party aboard a cruise ship and arrested 8 persons, including Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan - all now in judicial custody till October 30.
Later, the NCB nabbed 12 others, and on Thursday, actress Ananya Panday was summoned for probe, which will continue further on Friday.
(With inputs from IANS)