The arrest of Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan‘s son Aryan Khan in a drug seizure case has become a political issue now as several Opposition leaders have raised questions over the intentions of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) and the alleged involvement of BJP in the case. However, both the NCB and BJP have termed the allegations “baseless”. The anti-drugs agency has arrested 18 persons so far after raiding a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast and allegedly recovering narcotic drugs.
Aryan Khan was sent to the Arthur Road prison in Mumbai on Friday. Along with him, five other men arrested in the case too were sent to the same jail, while two women accused including Munmun Dhamecha were sent to Byculla women’s prison, a police official said.
Here’s how politicians reacted on Aryan Khan’s arrest in drugs case:
• Nawab Malik: The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alleged that the NCB’s raid on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 2 was fake, and no narcotic drugs were found during it. The party also questioned the presence of two persons along with the NCB team during the raid, and alleged that one of them was a BJP member.
“The drama (the raid) was fake. They did not find drugs on the ship,” NCP spokesperson and Maharashtra Minorities Affairs Minister Nawab Malik claimed.
• Kirit Somaiya: BJP leader Kirit Somaiya asked whether Nawab Malik is a spokesperson of Thackeray-Pawar or drug cartel. “I am not able to understand whether Mr Nawab Malik is a spokesperson of Thackeray-Pawar or drug cartel. Yesterday the NCB issued a clarification stating that 14 were taken into the custody of which only eight were found guilty,” he said.
• Nitesh Rane: Union Minister Narayan Rane’s son and BJP leader Nitesh Rane has targeted Nawab Malik for brining up a Hindu-Muslim angle into the matter. “How come Nawab Malik is shouting by so much? Because it’s a KHAN!! N not a Sushant singh Rajput? Just because his name is KHAN he becomes a victim? N because Sushant was a Hindu he becomes a drug addict??” Rane tweeted.
• Atul Bhatkhalkar: Local BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar said during lockdown, the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government was the first to open liquor shops, it also decided to lift prohibition in Chandrapur, and now Nawab Malik has accused the NCB of being a drug lord. Aryan Khan was represented by a senior criminal lawyer when he was produced in a court, Bhatkhalkar said. “The reason why the court granted custody of Aryan Khan to NCB even after he (this lawyer) argued for defence is because of the solid evidence against him (Khan). Had there been no evidence, he would have been granted immediate bail, said the BJP leader.
• Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury: Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had questioned the lack of “alacrity” in arresting the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra who is accused of running over farmers in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri. Chowdhury extended support to Aryan Khan and said, “A few months back Mrs Riya Chakroborty was detained and languished in jail, now the turn is for Aryan Khan. The equality of justice for all is enshrined in the preamble of the Constitution of India. Severe punishment to teenage khan for a venial offence should not be awarded (sic).”
The alacrity of arresting the son of @iamsrk who is allegedly a drug addicted kid, was conspicuously absent in the case of arresting the son of Mr Ajay Mishra, MoS Home affairs.(1/4)— Adhir Chowdhury (@adhirrcinc) October 9, 2021
• Manoj Jha: Questioning the media coverage in the case, RJD leader Manoj Jha said, “In the past days, 3000 kg of drugs were seized from the Mundra port. However, we did not hear much from the media about it as if the 3,000 kg heroin evaporated in the air. We can never forget the aftermath of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. Where on the one hand, media and government authorities were completely immersed over questions like who brought 10-15 grams of drugs, rather than the plethora of issues including the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Besides some political leaders who came out in support of the Khan family, several personalities from film industry have also extended support to Aryan Khan, saying that the tough times will only make him stronger. Interior designer Sussanne Khan, filmmaker Hansal Mehta, actors Pooja Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan, Raveena Tandon and Suchitra Krishnamoorthi expressed their solidarity with Shah Rukh Khan.