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Ship raid: Congress says NCB flouted NDPS rules, demands probe (Ld)

 
Mumbai, Oct 7 (IANS) The Maharashtra Congress on Thursday accused the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Mumbai Zone of allegedly flouting the NDPS Act rules while conducting the raid on a luxury ship on October 2, and demanded action against the agency officials.

Talking to the media, Congress State Spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that as per the NCB's own handbook if an accused has to be shifted or handed over to another officer after arrest, it can only be done with the written and signed consent of a senior officer.

Besides, the rules say that the same officer who has nabbed any accused is responsible for his safety/security and must produce him before a court within 24 hours.

"In the NCB raids on October 2, the rules seem to have been blatantly violated. How did a private person who is a Bharatiya Janata Party activist hand over the accused. The entire raid and busting the so-called rave party on the cruise ship are suspicious," Sawant said.

He charged the NCB officers with suppressing the truth by calling BJP activists Manish Bhanushali and Kiran P. Gosavi as 'independent witnesses', when the very same person (Bhanushali) has admitted he was merely an 'informer' of the agency.

If such is the case, Sawant demanded that the NCB Mumbai officers should show the arrest details and the documents whereby two of the high-profile accused were handled by the two private persons who are BJP activists, 'compromising the security of the accused', and how they even clicked selfies with them (accused) that day.

"These are extremely serious issues The NCB Director-General and Maha Vikas Aghadi government must order an immediate probe in the matter. As per the NDPS Act, any officer found guilty of violating the rule book faces 10 years' jail plus fine of at least Rs 100,000," Sawant pointed out.

The Congress leader's questions to the NCB came a day after the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) National Spokesperson and Minister Nawab Malik created a sensation by exposing the involvement of two 'BJP activists' and private persons in the ship raid.

Shiv Sena leader Kishore Tiwari, accorded MoS status, termed the emerging developments as "extremely serious" and demanded that the MVA should order the arrest of NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede and probe the raid thoroughly.

Malik on Thursday warned that more revelations with evidence about the NCB would come out soon and reiterated that the central agency is gunning only for high-profile persons from Bollywood to get publicity and tarnish the image of Bollywood and the MVA government in collusion with the BJP.

Sawant added that while the NCB is running after small quantities of drugs in Mumbai by arresting celebrities, why is the agency not taking any action when huge stocks of narcotics were found at Mundhra Port in Gujarat in September.

"This raises doubts whether the NCB is doing its job or like other central agencies, it is only working for the BJP to harass the MVA government If the D-G of NCB fails to take action against the Mumbai Zonal officers, then it will be clear it is pursuing a 'political agenda'," said Sawant.

The trio of Malik, Tiwari and Sawant said that a proper probe by the MVA government will unearth the truth about the ship raid and many more people will be exposed.

--IANS
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