On the first death anniversary of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput, CNN-News18 spoke exclusively to the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director IRS Sameer Wankhede, about the drug probe angle related to the actor’s death case.
While speaking about the progress in the case, Wankhede said that he is confident of a conviction in the case. He said the agency has managed to find strong evidences, accounted seizures in terms of both drugs and the ill-gotten financial proceeds from it and established communication proof. Based on this, Wankhede says it’s a watertight case.
Ever since the NCB has been raiding and arresting multiple consumers, peddlers and suppliers, the modus operandi has changed. “From last year, there has been a substantial rise in the cases. Drugs are being seized in huge contraries. From ‘charas’ to ‘ganja’ to new varieties of drugs like mephedrone are being found," says Wankhede.
He adds that the drugs are locally manufactured and procured from outside, especially during the pandemic, using the courier system.
While the NCB’s Mumbai Zonal unit covers the entire state of Maharashtra and Goa, alleged accused have been apprehended from around 8 to 10 cities from all over India.
The NCB was also probing the drug rot existing in Bollywood and several celebrities were questioned. When asked about the progress in the case, Wankhede said, “We are a professional agency and as such we would not want to generalise any industry. The mandate of the NCB is to attack the organised smuggling racket and to take action for violating the NDPS Act."
Sources from the NCB also tell CNN-News18 that drug peddlers are now trying to be one step ahead. There are now cases where they have been booked for using social media sites and tools to sell/order drugs.
“Youngsters is a big challenge. Rather than peddling, rehabilitation is required. We are in touch with NGOs where rehabilitation is required. It’s a challenge how to maintain a fine balance between enforcement and rehabilitation," said Wankhede.
Highly placed sources in the NCB meanwhile say that the inner circle of the late Sushant Singh Rajput will once again be called for questioning.
When asked about the message the NCB would like to give out to the society, Wankhede said, “Youngsters should say no to drugs and yes to life. They should chanellise their energies for nation building rather than ruining their health.”