BJP leader’s relative among those initially detained on cruise: Minister

Rishabh Sachdev, brother-in-law of BJP leader Mohit Kamboj, was let go within hours following calls from BJP leaders in Delhi and Maharashtra, Nawab Malik says

Malik said the NCB had detained 11 people during the raid, three of whom – Sachdev, Pratik Gaba and Amir Furniturewala – were allowed to leave | Photo: PTI File

Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik on Saturday said a BJP leader’s relative was detained during last week’s drug raid on a cruise ship off the coast of Mumbai, which led to the arrest of actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan, among others.

Rishabh Sachdev, brother-in-law of BJP leader Mohit Kamboj (Bhartiya), was let go within hours following calls from BJP leaders in Delhi and Maharashtra, Malik said.

Kamboj is a former president of the BJP’s Yuva Morcha in Mumbai.

Malik said the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had detained 11 people during the raid, three of whom – Sachdev, Pratik Gaba and Amir Furniturewala – were allowed to leave.

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“NCB director Samir Wankhede had given a vague statement about the detention of 8-10 people during the raid. In all, 11 were detained on the cruise… Mumbai Police had the same information till morning but then the number came down to eight and three people were let off,” Malik told the media.

Also read: Five things to know about Aryan Khan drugs case

The minister also played videos to support his claims.

“Sachdev was released after two hours and his father and uncle were with him. All three people were released at the same time. The names of Gaba and Furniturewala have been reflected in the arguments during the hearing in the court. Aryan Khan had gone there upon invitation from these three,” he said.

“Our question to the NCB is that you raided a cruise with 1,300 people on it and detained only 11 people, who were [later] brought to the NCB office for inquiry. The NCB must clarify on whose instructions these three people were released. Our information is that the BJP leaders from Maharashtra and Delhi made phone calls to get them released.”

Malik further sought to know the reasons behind bringing them to the NCB office and releasing them. “The NCB must answer if the 11 people were detained among 1,300 people, then why did it release the three people. We demand Wankhede to clarify this. What was the reason to bring the three persons to the NCB office and what investigation was completed that they were let off?”

The minister further said that the entire investigation was based on WhatsApp chats. “Did the NCB take the phones of these three people and see their chats? The entire case of raiding a cruise ship is fabricated. A plan was devised to invite some celebrities and they were framed,” he added.

Malik also said Mumbai and Maharashtra police must obtain call records of these people. “The call details of Samir Wankhede should also be obtained. We feel that from the mobile of Sachdev’s father, conversations took place between Wankhede and BJP leaders in Delhi and Maharashtra. If call details are obtained, then the actual truth about the detention and release will come out before the public.”

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