Coming out in support of NCB's zonal director Sameer Wankhede, who is in the eye of a political storm following a slew of allegations against him, Arun Halder, vice chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), on Sunday said that although the officer is doing good work and making his department proud, a minister has launched a personal attack on him and his family members.
Halder also called for a government probe into finding out why the minister was attacking the officer and his family.
State minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik has levelled a number of allegations against Wankhede. Among other things, he has accused the officer of forging his caste certificate and other documents to secure a job from the SC quota after clearing the UPSC examination as an IRS officer. Malik claimed that Wankhede is a Muslim by birth, although the latter has denied it. Halder visited Wankhede's residence here on Sunday.
Wankhede's wife Kranti Redkar said that the NCSC official's visit was aimed at checking her husband's original caste documents. She also said that after going through the papers, the official was convinced about Wankhede's stand.
Besides Wankhede and his wife, Halder met the officer's sister Yasmeen and father Dnyandev Wankhede.
Talking to reporters later, Halder said, "One officer is doing his duty and making the department proud, so how can minister can personally attack him and his family members? The government should carry out an investigation in why he is doing so." Redkar claimed that the safety of her family was in danger as some people conducted a recce of their house. She said the family would soon provide the CCTV footage about it to the police.
Talking to reporters, Sameer Wankhede said he has shared with the commission official whatever he wanted to share.
Earlier in the day, Union minister and RPI (A) president Ramdas Athawale extended his support to Wankhede, who he said is a Hindu dalit and a follower of B R Ambedkar.
Athawale also asked Nawab Malik to refrain from "conspiring" to defame the NCB officer and his family members.