Investigation needed into charges against NCB officer Sameer Wankhede

The accusations against Sameer Wankhede may or may not be correct, but they are neither baseless nor frivolous

Ravi Shanker Kapoor |

It is curious that no inquiry has been ordered against the Narcotics Control Bureau’s Mumbai zonal director Sameer Wankhede regarding the charges against him—that he concealed his religious identity, wrongly availed of the quota benefit impersonating as a Scheduled Caste (SC) person. The charges against him may be wrong, but that can be known only after proper investigation; prima facie, they appear actionable.

Wankhede is in the news after his team arrested, among others, film star Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan in a drug case.

The father of Wankhede’s first wife, Dr. Zaheed Qureshi, has said on record that when his daughter Shabana married Wankhede, the latter was a practising Muslim, who even visited mosques. “We always knew the Wankhede family as followers of Islam. In fact, I always knew Dnyandev [Sameer’s father] as Dawood Wankhede. We agreed to the marriage of my daughter Dr Shabana with Sameer because we had cordial relations with his late mother Zaheeda,” Qureshi said.

It needs to be mentioned here that it was an arranged marriage. It happened in 2006. Since it was a nikah, it was mandatory for both parties to be Muslim. As PTI report said (, “the Qazi who had performed the first marriage of Sameer Wankhede, claimed the officer belonged to a Muslim family otherwise the ‘nikah’ would not have been solemnized as per Islam.”

A couple of years after the nikah, Sameer Wankhede became an Indian Revenue Service officer, availing the SC reservation benefit. Qureshi explained his decision to tell the media Sameer’s religious background: “When Sameer claimed that he has been a Hindu since his birth, many people asked me how did I allow my daughter to marry him [a Hindu]. It became an issue of prestige for me and my family. Hence I am making it clear that when the marriage between my daughter Shabana and Sameer Wankhede took place, the groom was practising Islam. His father’s name was Dawood.”

Maharashtra Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik has also accused Sameer Wankhede of snatching a genuine SC candidate’s opportunity to enter a high office.

The accusations against Sameer Wankhede may or may not be correct, but they are neither baseless nor frivolous. Therefore, there should be a proper investigation.

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