Sameer Wankhede on NCB targeting Bollywood: As opposed to the popular narrative, Sameer Wankhede who’s the Zonal Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), says that they are not targeting Bollywood and aren’t after celebrities. He came to light after Sushant Singh Rajput drugs case in which he question many celebs and arrested actor Rhea Chakraborty and her brother, Showik Chakraborty. Wankhede has been vocal about eradicating the drug menace from Mumbai and has made several arrests in the case. However, he says that the number of celebs he has questioned or detained in this case is less and it’s because of the media that they are painted as the agency which is after Bollywood.
“Number of drugs cases including a celebrity is a handful”
In his latest interview with ETimes, Sameer Wankhede mentioned that since Sushant’s case which was titled ‘Case No. 16’, they have registered 105 cases in 10 months but people only talk about the ones that involve a celebrity. “In the last year, we have booked a total of 105 cases in 10 months. That’s an average of 10-12 cases every month. Now you tell me, out of those 105 cases, how many are celebrities? I’ll tell, a handful of them at best. This year alone, we’ve made more than 310 arrests. How many of those are celebrities? Everyone would know because that’s the only thing that is talked about. We’ve seized illegal substances worth Rs 150 crores this year. Has anyone spoken about that?,” he said.
“We get blamed for targeting a popular celeb because media plays it up”
The zonal director went on to mention that there was no hue and cry in the media when they busted a Nigerian drug cartel and one of his staff members got seriously injured while fighting the same. “There’s a valid reason though. When we arrest someone, the media will play it up only when the arrested person is a known face. But instead of appreciating our efforts, we get blamed for targeting that popular celeb,” he said. Wankhede said that the perception is something else while the big names in the drugs case are ‘just a very small fraction of the people we end up apprehending.’
“Why is nobody interested in reporting the unglamorous cases?”
The senior official talked about case no. 16 and how people made it bigger than it was. He said that people are only interested in knowing the ‘glamour’ part of it, not the reality. “This case has become a huge spectacle. But, after case number 16, (the official assigned case number for the Sushant Singh Rajput drugs case), today was crime number 105. Do you realise the sheer magnitude of the volume of violations? Why are people not talking about the other cases that we crack down on to eradicate the drugs menace? Nobody is interested in reporting the ‘unglamorous’ cases or even discussing the regular cases. Why?, ” he questioned.
The NCB is back in news after conducting raids at an alleged rave party on Saturday night.