MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Saturday ordered an investigation into the death of 36-year-old Prabhakar Sail, a key witness in the 2021 drugs case involving Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.
Sail, one of the two panch witnesses to the drug recoveries from a cruise ship where Aryan was also present, died of a heart attack at his home in Mumbai late on Friday evening, his lawyer Tushar Khandare told media persons here.
“The director general of police of Maharashtra will investigate Sail’s death. Many people had suspected his death. How could such a strong and healthy man die suddenly,” said Maharashtra home minister Dilip Walse-Patil.
Along with Kiran P Gosavi, Sail was a panch witnesses to the recoveries made from five of the nine persons apprehended by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) team at the cruise terminal and the Cordelia cruise in October last year.
Sail’s lawyer said that he was under stress due to unemployment. “He was just 36 years of age and very young to die. He was under stress due to unemployment. He was jobless for a long time. Some of us tried our best to get him some work, but in vain. Because of this he was under tremendous mental pressure and that could be one of the factors that may have triggered the heart attack,” advocate Khandare said.
“A special investigation team from Delhi had recorded his statement in the case a few days ago,” he added.
Six grams of charas was purportedly seized from Aryan Khan’s friend Arbaaz Merchant and 13 grams of cocaine, 10 grams of charas, 5 grams of MD, 10.62 grams of ecstasy or MDMA was allegedly seized from four residents of Delhi, also accused in the case.
Sail had made sensational allegations against former NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede who is currently facing departmental inquiry into charges of bribery demand and foul play in the case.
He had made startling revelations in his sworn affidavit before before a court on October 23, 2021. In the affidavit, Sail had claimed that he overheard discussion of his employer Gosavi and another person on phone about proposing a Rs 25 crore deal and settling at about Rs 18 crore. “You put a bomb of 25 crores and let’s settle at 18 final, because we have to give Rs 8 crore to Wankhede,” he had said in the affidavit.
Wankhede had denied all the allegations.
The NCB had last year told the court that Sail had turned hostile and his affidavit was still pending before the court.
Aryan was arrested on October 3, 2021 on charges of possessing narcotics drugs, a charge his lawyers have vociferously denied. He spent 25 days in a jail before being released on bail by the Bombay High Court. Aryan was supposed to have gone on a two-day cruise from Mumbai.