‘Please send my son home’: When Shah Rukh Khan pleaded with NCB officer

Former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director cites his WhatsApp chat with Bollywood superstar before the Bombay HC, says it ‘nowhere suggests’ demand made to favour Aryan

Wankhede SRK Aryan case
Wankhede has been given interim protection from any coercive action, such as arrest, as the court hears his plea seeking quashing of the CBI’s FIR against him | File photo

Beleaguered former Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) zonal director Sameer Wankhede has now produced WhatsApp chat with Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan before the Bombay High Court while seeking quashing of CBI FIR against him.

Wankhede has claimed that text messages sent to him by Shah Rukh and his replies “nowhere” suggest that he made extortion demand to favour the actor’s son Aryan Khan in the 2021 Cordelia cruise drug bust case.

Rejecting allegations of demanding money in exchange for Aryan’s release as “blatantly false”, Wankhede has presented screenshots of alleged messages sent by the actor to substantiate his claims. SRK sent him these messages between October 3 and October 15, 2021, when Aryan was in custody.

Also read: Aryan Khan bribery case: Sameer Wankhede moves HC to quash CBI’s FIR against him

‘Allegations blatantly false’

“I beg you man, please don’t let him be in that jail. These holidays will come and he will break as a human being. His spirit will be destroyed because of some vested people. You promised you will reform my child and not put him in a place where he may come out completely battered and broken. And it’s no fault of his. …But please send my son home. You also know in your heart it’s been a bit too harsh for him by now. Please please I beg you as a father,” said one of the messages purportedly sent by SRK.

“If in any way without losing your integrity as an officer of law, you can help with whatever manner possible please. I will always be indebted…,” reads another message.

Wankhede’s plea stated, “Allegations pertaining to the arrest of Aryan Khan being only an attempt for demanding money in exchange of his release are blatantly false and can be clearly seen from the messages sent by Mr Shah Rukh Khan himself during the time Aryan was in the custody of NCB. Mr Shah Rukh Khan has, vide his messages, clearly portrayed that he has no grievances against the petitioner and has only requested to be kind to his son.”

‘SRK praised my integrity’

He claimed that Shah Rukh praised his integrity and also expressed his “anguish” over “political involvement in the matter”. As per the chats attached in the petition, Wankhede said he wanted to look towards Aryan with a reformatory approach, but “unfortunately” his attempt to do so “was being maligned by some dirty persons with malafide and vested interests”.

Also read: Aryan Khan case: HC asks CBI not to take ‘coercive action’ against Sameer Wankhede till Monday

To this, the actor allegedly responded, “…But my son is not part of that please. You also know that. You know his part is minuscule in it. All he needs is reformation and for that he has had his quota and I will also follow suit with what we talked in terms of making him a better person. Please man I beg you there is nothing from my side that is participant in the vested interests. I went out of my way and without even knowing them called and begged them not to involve my child in their politics. The people here and also the person in the North. I spoke as a father to them and even chided them that they are harming my kid in their selfish interests.”

Wankhede submitted in court, “The said conversation nowhere suggests that either in the message of Shah Rukh Khan or in the reply of the petitioner that there was either a demand made or caused to be made for extending a favour or advantage to Aryan Khan.” He said it was always Shah Rukh who initiated the conversation and he only responded.

Aryan was arrested by the NCB on October 3, 2021 after the raid on the cruise ship a day before. The Bombay High Court granted him bail on October 28. His name was not included in the list of the accused in the NCB chargesheet for lack of evidence.