The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) said on Wednesday that two persons — Manish Bhanushali and Kiran Gosavi — were among more than half-a-dozen of its ‘independent witnesses’ during the October 2 rave party raid on the luxury ship Cordelia Cruise.
However, the NCB scoffed the claims of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik as “baseless, with malice to malign the agency’s image and in retaliation against an earlier action of the NCB”.
On Wednesday afternoon, Malik had made the sensational claim that a BJP ‘vice-president’, Manish Bhanushali, and another ‘private detective’, Kiran Gosavi, were involved in the NCB operation on Sunday.
Terming the NCB raid as ‘fraudulent’, he had also raised questions over the NCB’s seizures, not following due processes of law, and allegedly involving ‘outsider private persons’ in its operations.
The NCB has asserted that it functions in a professional and legally transparent manner, and carries out its duties without any bias and that even the ‘panchnamas’ were done as per the law.
Meanwhile, Bhanushali spoke to a private Marathi TV channel and said that he had given the tip-off about the rave party to the NCB and was accompanying them as a ‘witness’ to affix his signature on the relevant case papers.
Defending the NCB, BJP’s Leaders of Opposition (Assembly) Devendra Fadnavis and Pravin Darekar (Council) dismissed Malik’s charges as arising out of ‘frustration’ for the agency’s action of nabbing his son-in-law in January 2021 in a drugs case.