The man of the moment in the cruise liner case, Sameer Wankhede, zonal director of NCB's Mumbai unit, has written a letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner requesting him to "ensure that no precipitate legal action is carried out" against him by "unknown persons" with "ulterior motives" to frame him. He has further sought protection from the Mumbai Police.
The allusion was to the claim of an independent witness in the case, Prabhakar Sail, who overheard a conversation about an alleged payoff to Sameer Wankhede to let off Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan.
Wankhede has also said that claims of "threats of jail and dismissal" had been issued against him on "public media by highly respectable public functionaries". The NCB officer’s apprehensions stem from Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik’s statement that he would meet the chief minister and state home minister to seek an inquiry into the allegations against Wankhede.
The NCB has, meanwhile, issued a statement saying that its zonal director, Sameer Wankhede, has denied the allegations made by witness Prabhakar Sail in his affidavit. In its statement, the NCB has said, "As Prabhakar is a witness in the case and the matter is sub judice, he needs to submit his prayer to the court rather than through social media." Also, the allegations contained in the affidavit were based on a conversation overheard by Sail, it is pointed out. Nonetheless, the witness' affidavit will be forwarded to the director general of the NCB for "further necessary action," the statement said.