Was present during raid as witness, will seek protection- BJP worker seen taking Arbaaz Merchantt to NCB office
Hours after Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik alleged that the man seen taking Arbaaz Merchantt to the Narcotics Control Bureau’s Mumbai office was a BJP worker, the man caught in the eye of the storm spoke exclusively to India Today, responding to the allegations against him.
“I am a BJP worker,” a candid Manish Bhanushali told India Today on camera. Earlier today, social media were flooded with photos of him posing with leaders of BJP leaders, hinting at BJP’s involvement in the raids.
“I have not spoken to any BJP leader as of now. But I will seek police protection for myself and my family in Mumbai,” he said.
READ- Mumbai drug bust case- Court sends four more accused to NCB custody till Oct 14
Bhanusali also said that he will approach the government to provide him with security along with his family members as he now fears for his life.
Escorted Merchantt because NCB had space crunch- Bhanushali
“I received information about the drug party on October 1. My friend suggested me to approach the NCB. The NCB had little information and we added to it. On October 2, the raid was planned and we were at the spot as witnesses,” Bhanushali added.
Asked about a video cited by Nawab Malik showing him escorting accused Arbaaz Merchantt to the NCB office in Mumbai after the raid, Manish Bhanushali said, “I accept that I was with NCB officers. However, it only seems like I am holding a person with NCB officer because there was it was a narrow lane.”
VIDEO COURTESY- ANI
Accusing Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik of “playing dirty politics”, Bhanushali told India Today, “We are working for the nation.”
He also said, “I was not aware that Shah Rukh’s son would be present there [on board the cruise ship].”
Manish Bhanushali also said that NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede is a “good officer” and has “done nothing wrong”.
File photo of NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede | PTI
During the press conference on Wednesday, Nawab Malik asked the NCB to answer why Manish Bhanushali and one KP Gosavi were seen escorting “high-profile” suspects to the office of the drug enforcement agency.
A photo of KP (Kiran) Gosavi with actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan inside the NCB office also went viral on social media earlier this week. The NCB later categorically denied that the man in the viral photo was not an officer of the drug enforcement agency.
Viral photo of Kiran Gosavi with Aryan Khan at NCB office | Twitter
On Tuesday, the NCB responded to the allegations with the agency’s Deputy Director-General Gyaneshwar Singh telling the media that nine individuals, including Kiran Gosavi and Manish Bhanushali, were associated with the raid as “witnesses”.
(News Source -Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Times Of Nation staff and is published from a www.indiatoday.in feed.)
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