End of the year 2021: Review of the trip of the star kid Aryan Khan from the Cordelia cruise to India’s second most searched celebrity on Google | Photo credit: Instagram
- Shah Rukh Khan brought in Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and senior attorney Satish Maneshinde, among other senior legal figures, to defend his son Aryan Khan.
- The case took a startling turn with extortion charges against NCB investigators.
Mumbai: âI can’t commentâ – those were the words of Sameer Wankhede, an official at the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), in the early hours of October 3rd, when the hungry reporters brushed against each other and almost put their microphones in his mouth to shut know if there was a celebrity among the inmates of the Cordelia cruise. Hours later, news anchors and people across the country dissected minute details of the state anti-drug agency’s arrest of Bollywood mega-star Shah Rukh Khan’s son, Aryan Khan, following his arrest from a luxury cruise off the coast of Mumbai. A few weeks later, the 23-year-old star kid, who had spent years as a student in London and the US with little mainstream media coverage, popped up as India’s second most searched celebrity on Google in 2021.
As a resident of the palace bungalow “Mannat” in the upscale Bandra, Aryan was housed as “Qaidi number N956” in the Arthur Road prison in the capital Maharashtra. The Bollywood “Baadshah” brought in the former attorney general Mukul Rohatgi and the attorney Satish Maneshinde, the well-known attorney who represented Rhea Chakraborty in the drug case in connection with the death of the actor Sushant Singh Rajput, among other things in the defense of his son. The NCB worked hard to defend itself against Aryan’s bail. The superstar’s son’s high-profile defense team put forward convincing arguments and secured bail from the Bombay High Court after he was repeatedly denied bail by lower courts. Finally, after three weeks, Aryan left the prison. But hold on! ‘Picture abhi baaki hai ‘.
The case took a startling turn with extortion charges against NCB investigators. Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik alleged that Shah Rukh Khan’s son was “kidnapped” for ransom by NCB officer Sameer Wankhede. Malik’s allegations sparked a political storm in the state when he alleged the Bharatiya Janata Party was involved in Aryan’s arrest.
Questions were raised about the actions of NCB hunters when Prabhakar Sail, an independent witness in the case, made an explosive claim that the Bollywood superstar’s son was being detained by the anti-drug enforcement agency for money from his father to blackmail. Sail claimed that he overheard a phone call about the request for Rs 25 crore to release Aryan. This prompted the NCB to order an investigation into Sail’s allegations. Mumbai Police even later formed a special team to investigate allegations against NCB sniffer dogs. According to the latest reports, Mumbai police found no evidence of extortion.
The case seems a long way from going to bed. The arrest of Aryan, the older son of a multimillionaire mega-star from Bollywood, is undoubtedly one of the most surprising dramatic events of 2021. While the Honorable Justice has not yet pronounced the verdict on the case, Aryan and his father have been cruelly mocked in cyberspace, with many internet users already declaring the star kid guilty. The frenzy over his arrest earned him second place among Google’s Most Wanted Indian Celebrities in 2021. In Google India’s “Year in Search,” Aryan was just behind javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who made history by ending the country’s 100-year wait for an Olympics medal in athletics.