'Please have mercy': SRK in alleged chat with Sameer Wankhede on son Aryan Khan's arrest
Mumbai/IBNS: Former anti-drugs officer Sameer Wankhede, who is accused of trying to extort Shah Rukh Khan after arresting his son Aryan Khan in 2021, produced what he claimed were his chats with the Bollywood superstar as a part of his defence.
Sameer Wankhede, the former zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Mumbai, submitted in the Bombay High Court screenshots of alleged chats in which Shah Rukh Khan, who appeared to beg him to free Aryan Khan as “he will break as a human being”.
Aryan was arrested on October 3, 2021, following an anti-drugs raid on a party on a cruise ship. He was released nearly a month later.
The CBI has accused Wankhede of allegedly demanding Rs. 25 crore bribe from Shah Rukh Khan to not implicate Aryan Khan.
In the chats submitted by Wankhede in court as circulated in media reports, SRK appeared to have written long, desperate messages urging the officer to free his son.
“I beg you man please don't let him be in that jail. These holidays will come and he will break as a human being. His spirit will be destroyed because of some vested people. You promised you will reform my child not put him in a place where he may come out completely battered and broken. And it's no fault of his,” the 57-year-old actor writes, according to a screenshot.
“I beg you please have mercy in me and my family. We are a simple set of people and my son has been a bit wayward but he doesn't deserve being in jail like a hardened criminal. You also know that. Have a heart man please I beg you (sic),” says a purported message.
The messages often end with the signoff “Love srk”.
The chats have not been corroborated. There is no response from Shah Rukh Khan or his legal team.
In one screenshot, the actor appears to assure Wankhede that he will do “everything in his power” to make someone retract a statement.
“I promise you I will do all of it and won't shirk away from begging them to stop. But please send my son home. You also know in your heart it's been a bit too harsh for him by now. Please please I beg you as a father,” he pleads, according to a screenshot.
Some of the messages seem to have been sent on October 4, a day after the arrest, and go on long past midnight, till dawn.
SRK appears to say he knows it is “officially inappropriate and maybe outright wrong” but pleads with him to speak “once as a father”.
In alleged messages sent on October 14, around the time Aryan Khan's bail plea came up in court, SRK appeared to beg the officer to “show some kindness”.
To this Wankhede replied: “Dear Sharukh, I wish I could talk to you as friend and explain you about the current situation and not as a zonal director, all the murk and unscrupulous elements are vitiating the entire atmosphere. I wanted to look towards the kids In an reformatory approach and provide an opportunity for best living and national service. But unfortunately my attempt is being maligned by some dirty persons with malafide and vested interests.”
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has granted Wankhede protection from any "coercive action" in the extortion case filed against him. The former NCB officer had requested the court to scrap the FIR filed by the CBI against him.
An NCB report has alleged that Wankhede made multiple trips abroad with his family and owned vast property disproportionate to his income.
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