‘Doesn’t Mean She is Guilty’, Says Official


Bollywood actor Ananya Panday, daughter of Chunky Panday, arrived at the offices of the Narcotics Control Bureau at around 4 pm on Thursday after she was summoned for questioning. NCB sleuths had visited Pandey’s residence in Bandra earlier in the day to hand over the summons. Pandey was asked to appear before the NCB to record her statement, sources said. And although there is speculation that Panday is being questioned in connection with the Mumbai drugs-on-cruise case in which megastar Shah Rukh Khan‘s son Aryan Khan is facing arrest, there has been no word from the NCB.

In fact, an officer, part of the team that visited Ananya’s home, told the media gathered there that the summons was only part of a procedure. “Ye investigation hai aur ismein zaroori nahi hai ki jinko bulaaya jaata hai woh culprit ho (Just because someone has been called for questioning, doesn’t mean that they are guilty),” the officer said.

According to a report in NDTV, Ananya’s laptop and mobile phone have been seized by the NCB for investigation.

Sources in the NCB have said that Ananya’s name has been under the scanner for a few days. Earlier, there were reports that Aryan’s WhatsApp chats included discussion on drugs with an upcoming Bollywood actress. The NCB had submitted the WhatsApp chat to the special court on Wednesday. His chats with drug peddlers were also given to the court.

A team of the NCB’s Mumbai zonal unit had also visited Shah Rukh Khan’s residence on Thursday for seeking certain material related to their investigation into a cruise drugs party, the agency said in an official statement. It was not a raid, it said.

Aryan Khan was arrested with a few others on October 3 after the NCB raided a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast and claimed to have seized drugs, including charas.

The NCB conducted searches at multiple locations in Mumbai since Wednesday night in connection with its probe into the cruise drugs party case, according to sources. On Thursday morning, Shah Rukh Khan met his son Aryan Khan at the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai where the latter has been lodged following his arrest in the case of seizure of drugs onboard the cruise ship off the city coast.

A special court on Wednesday denied bail to Aryan Khan, observing that ‘on the face of it’, he was indulging in “illicit drug activities on a regular basis”. His WhatsApp chats also showed, prima facie, that he was in touch with drug peddlers, the court noted.

Aryan Khan subsequently moved the Bombay High Court to challenge the lower court’s order. The HC on Thursday said it would hear his bail plea on October 26.

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