Mumbai

Caste committee gives clean chit to former NCB officer Sameer Wankhede

Sameer Wankhede. File

Sameer Wankhede. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The caste scrutiny committee gave a clean chit to former Mumbai zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Sameer Wankhede and held he has proven that he was not a Muslim by birth and he belongs to the Mahar caste.

The 91-page-order was issued by the Social Justice Department of the Maharashtra government on Friday that said, Mr. Wankhede, an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer, was not a Muslim by birth and it has been proven that he belongs to the Mahar caste, which is a Scheduled Caste.

Mr. Wankhede's caste was questioned by former Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik and other complainants like Manoj Sansare, Ashok and Sanjay Kamble alleging that he is Muslim by birth. However, the Mumbai district caste certificate verification committee held that Mr. Wankhede and his father Dyaneshwar had not renounced Hinduism and adopted the Muslim religion.

Mr. Wankhede had come to the limelight following the high-profile October 2021 raids by the NCB on a Mumbai cruise after which the agency had arrested Aryan Khan, son of actor Shah Rukh Khan, and 19 others and claimed to have seized some narcotics too.

On April 29, 2022, the Committee issued the notice to Mr. Wankhede noting that complaints and documents against him prove that he is a Muslim. Mr. Wankhede however challenged the notice and filed a petition before the Bombay High Court on May 4 stating that "The notice was illegal, arbitrary and issued without giving him an opportunity to defend himself." The plea mentioned that he belongs to the Mahar community, which comes under the Scheduled Caste and that he has never given any false information or filed any false documents to obtain his caste certificate. The plea added that his mother is a Muslim however, he is a Hindu.

On Saturday, Mr. Wankhede tweeted, " Satyamev Jayate."


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2022 9:39:07 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/caste-committee-gives-clean-chit-to-former-ncb-officer-sameer-wankhede/article65765145.ece