On September 13, 2021, almost 3000kg of heroin was seized from Mundra Port, one of Adani Group’s main shipping ports in Gujarat. And on October 4, Ashish Mishra was accused of allegedly mowing down 7 farmers, resulting in 7 deaths. These investigations never saw much light in the media. They were promptly overshadowed by the Aryan Khan Drug Scandal, where the accused, Aryan Khan, was caught with drugs on hand. The most surprising thing is that a 42gm drug arrest was given more importance than a 3000kg drug bust and 7 murders by an influential Union minister’s son.

Many theories are circling this particular battle of scandals. One of the most hot theory is that Aryan Khan was scapegoated to cover up for the Adani Group. The homicide case gained popularity in the media against a UP MLA’s son. Both the other scandals are considered to be on a large scale and with a much bigger impact, rather than the drug bust conducted by the party Aryan Khan attended.

What Happened At Mundra Port?

On September 13, the DRI seized two containers that had shown up at the Mundra Port from Kandahar in Afghanistan through the Bandar Abbas Port. The announcement going with the holders guaranteed they had “semi-handled powder stones.” 

In any case, on September 17 and 19, it was set up that the two holders, in reality, contained heroin which was disguised in “the lower layers” of “enormous packs” finished off with powder stones. The worth of the held onto drug was assessed to be almost Rs 21,000 crore.

The DRI had captured eight people, including five outside nationals, regarding the seize of the drugs. Searches were then led by the NIA in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Vijayawada at the premises of the blamed.

NIA has carried out similar searches in the Mundra heroin seizure case twice earlier. The organization, prior in October, assumed control over the case from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on the bearings of the Union home service and enlisted a criminal complaint under section of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The case identifies with the capture of 2,988.21 kg of opiate substance heroin – at the Mundra port and the association of outside nationals in the obtainment and conveyance of the transfer.

The shipper firm, distinguished by true sources as Aashi Trading Company, is claimed to be controlled by M Sudhakar and his better half G Durga Purna Vaishali. Several has been captured by the DRI from Chennai a couple of days back and they were subsequently brought to Bhuj town in Kutch. On Monday, several was created under the steady gaze of an exceptional court for NDPS cases in Bhuj that conceded 10 days’ care of the two to the DRI.

The Adani Group claims that they had nothing to do with the consignment and there simply the port operators.

The media has not actively reported on this since.

Mudra Port, owned by the Adani group

What happened in UP?

Ashish Mishra, the son of Ajay Mishra who is the union minister of UP has been accused of allegedly mowing down farmers. Mishra, a MP of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), currently serves as the Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs

The first FRI against Ashish Mishra was filed on October 4, 2021. In the interim, MoS for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, kept the presence from getting his child on the spot of the occurrence wherein something like eight individuals, including four ranchers, passed on.

Following this incident, there was a lot of political and social strife that followed, the farmers demanded justice while the office of Mishra vehemently denied Ashish Mishra’s presence at the scene of crime. The environment became so riddled with fear and violence at the this point that any and all internet services were cut off from 5th October very much into the late night of October 11 in the areas of Lakshmipur Khiri, Sitapur and Bahraich to make sure that the security of the state remains intact.

On October 8 Ashish Mishra agreed to surrender to the police but did not show up for his interrogation at all. Representatives from the office have confirmed this by saying that he made his excuses to the police for not showing up via a letter that said that on the day of his interrogation he was unwell. On October 9 he reached the police station a little before 11PM and was taken in through the back door to avoid the media. DIG SP Vijay Kumar Dhul was himself responsible for the said interrogation.

Ajay Mishra then made a statement along with Awadhesh Kumar (Ashish Kumar’s lawyer) that they will gladly cooperate with the investigation by any means necessary. This statement was made after the Supreme Court’s stern stance as the SC reprimanded the UP government on how laxly the matter was handled.

On Sunday, October 3, four farmers were among eight persons killed in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri. (File Photo/PTI)

After a 12 hour interrogation, Mishra was arrested as he could not prove the location of his whereabouts during the time of the crime. When Kumar (Mishra’s lawyer) appealed for his bail, it was rejected.

On October 24, however, Mishra was rushed to the hospital from his custody as he seemed to have contracted the dengue. After his treatment he was again shifted back to the jail where he will be under observation in the jail hospital. During this time more arrests were made in regards to the ongoing case and as of now 13 people have been arrested.

No further updates have been given but this is still an ongoing investigation.

Aryan Khan’s Drug Scandal

On October 3, 2021, Bollywood’s superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan was arrested and accused of the consumption and conspiracy of drugs among other people.

On October 2, 2021, Aryan Khan attended a two day long musical cruise atop Cordelia Cruises’ Empress Ship organized by a Delhi based events company.

On getting a hint, a group of the Narcotics Control Bureau’s Mumbai unit, driven by zonal chief Sameer Wankhede, boarded the boat masked as travelers. 

On board the ship, NCB authorities started a pursuit and that very evening, it was accounted for that the NCB had seized different unlawful medications like cocaine, charas, and MDMA from the boat and confined 7-8 individuals, including a Bollywood star’s child.

Aryan Khan was captured on October 3rd regarding a medications strike led by the Narcotics Control Bureau. Helmed by zonal chief Sameer Wankhede, the NCB’s Mumbai unit struck a voyage transport off the city coast. Aryan Khan, alongside a few others, was captured and blamed for utilization and ‘connivance’, among different charges.

Aryan Khan was officialy placed under arrest at around 2 pm on October 3, a day after the raid. Two others who were onboard the ship, Munmun Dhamecha and Aryan’s friend Arbaaz Merchant — were also arrested. The NCB had professed to have held onto 13 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of MD, 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA (bliss) and Rs 1.33 lakh in real money during the assault on Cordelia Cruises’ boat.

Aryan Khan being arrested by NCB and taken into custody for questioning

Once he was arrested, he was interrogated at NCB. The bail plea submitted by his lawyers was rejected and the media turned their entire spotlight on this case. During his first hearing NCB sough an extension up to October 11 but was granted only till the 7th. On 7th NCB again demanded his custody till the 11th but were rejected and instead Aryan Khan was sent to 14-day judicial custody and was thus shifted to Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail. After getting delayed and denied more than he should have, Mukul Rohtagi, former AG of India, took over his case and fought in Aryan Khan’s favor. He presented the following arguments:

  1. Whatsapp chats alone are never admissible in the court of law
  2. Since NCB had failed to get Aryan Khan tested at the time of arrest, they had no substantial evidence stating he had consumed drugs. There were about 1300 people on that cruise ship and by that logic, all of them should be in jail then
  3. And even if the whatsapp chats are taken into consideration, they can’t be held responsible for this case as they date back to 2019, when Aryan Khan wasn’t even in India.

The entire scandal was viewed in a new light when Aryan Khan’s bodyguard came forward with proper evidence that he along with a few other witnesses were asked to sign on blank pages by Sameer Wankhede.

Sameer Wankhede, in the mean time, composed a letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner mentioning him to “guarantee that no participate legal action is carried out” against him by “obscure people” with “ulterior thought processes” to outline him. 

On October 25, NCB agent chief general Gyaneshwar Singh said a request had been started to test the charges evened out against Sameer Wankhede.

Aryan Khan was granted bail after the arguments presented by Rohtagi on October 28, 2021 after staying in custody for 22 days and an active investigation on Sameer Wankhede has been started.

When NCP Leader Malik pointed out in an interview that NCB are concentrating on Aryan Khan’s case rather than focusing on the Mundra Port case and also blamed the media for not covering both the Mundra Port case and the UP scandal, he was met with a lot of backlash. NCB threatened to file for slander and many BJP MLAs and MPs gave interviews calling him out for it. NCB defended themselves by saying that they were trying to ‘catch the big fish’ by concentrating on Aryan Khan who they believed was linked to international drug rings. The question to be asked here is, is 3000kg of heroin not also linked to an international drug ring or was Aryan Khan targeted for some other reason? The UP government on the other hand refuses to comment whatsoever.

Citations:

  1. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/aryan-khan-drugs-case-ncb-arrest-srk-son-mumbai-cruise-ship-complete-story-1867040-2021-10-20 
  2. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/mukul-rohatgi-aryan-khan-case-lawyer-ncb-mumbai-cruise-drugs-1871438-2021-10-30 

by Shreya Gosalia

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