NCB visits Shah Rukh's home after actor meets son in Mumbai jail; Celebs extend support


Mumbai: Sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau visited the residence of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday for seeking certain material related to their investigation into a cruise drugs party case in which the actor's son is an accused.

It was not a raid, a senior NCB official said.

Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan was arrested with a few others on October 3 after the NCB raided a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast and claimed to have seized drugs, including charas.

A team of the NCB's Mumbai zonal unit visited Shah Rukh Khan's residence 'Mannat' in suburban Bandra on Wednesday afternoon for seeking from him certain material related to the investigation into the case, the official said.

Another team of the NCB also visited actor Ananya Pandey's residence in Bandra, sources said.

Pandey was asked to appear before the NCB on Thursday to record her statement, they said.

The NCB conducted searches at multiple locations in Mumbai since Wednesday night in connection with its probe into the cruise drugs party case, according to sources.

On Thursday morning, Shah Rukh Khan met his son Aryan Khan at the Arthur Road jail in Mumbai where the latter has been lodged following his arrest in the case of seizure of drugs on board the cruise ship off the city coast.

A special court here on Wednesday denied bail to Aryan Khan, observing that 'on the face of it', he was indulging in "illicit drug activities on a regular basis".

Shah Rukh Khan
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan leaves Arthur Road Jail after visiting his son Aryan Khan, who was arrested earlier this month in relation to a drugs case, in Mumbai, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. PTI

His WhatsApp chats also showed, prima facie, that he was in touch with drug peddlers, the court noted.

Aryan Khan subsequently moved the Bombay High Court to challenge the lower court's order. The HC on Thursday said it would hear his bail plea on October 26.

SRK finds support from Bollywood

Caught by scores of cameras and jostling crowds as he came out of jail after meeting his son Aryan, Shah Rukh Khan on Thursday found support from several Bollywood colleagues who said they were heartbroken and also from fans who gathered in front of his home in a show of solidarity.

The superstar's visit to the Arthur Road jail in what was his first public appearance since his son's arrest in a drugs case on October 3 was followed by a team of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) officials visiting his home Mannat.

Though much of mainstream Bollywood maintained a studied silence, several colleagues, including filmmakers Alankrita Shrivastava, Hansal Mehta and actor Pooja Bhatt, spoke out in support of the family. The media also came in for some attack.

My heart is broken for SRK. May there be light at the end of the tunnel, Shrivastava, the director of Lipstick Under My Burkha, said in a tweet.

Shah Rukh Khan
Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan being taken to Arthur Road jail from Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) office after being arrested in connection with the alleged seizure of banned drugs from a cruise ship, in Mumbai. PTI

Shah Rukh was mobbed by reporters, one of whom could be heard asking what he talked to Aryan about. The 55-year-old waded his way through a sea of people and got into his car without a word. He was seen greeting some people with folded hands in videos circulating on social media.

Commenting on a video of media hounding Shah Rukh as he made his way to the car, actor-filmmaker Pooja Bhatt said it was tragic'.

Dear members of the press. I know times are tougher than ever & there is immense pressure on you'll from your respective employers to grab a byte even if it means compromising your own health & safety but how do you'll explain this pack like behaviour to your own children? Tragic.

Screenwriter Kanika Dhillon, who has been vocal in her support to the star, said it was "heartbreaking" to see the turn of events.

In another Twitter post, Dhillon, who is set to collaborate with the actor in a film to be directed by Rajkumar Hirani, said in adverse times a parent who happens to be a star is subjected to "heartless abuse and ruthless judgement".

Being a celebrity, being a star, being from Bollywood' means your emotion, your torment and your concern as a father become a matter of public consumption, heartless abuse and ruthless judgement, the "Rashmi Rocket" co-writer said.

Mehta retweeted Dhillon's post and wrote that the industry has always been vulnerable to criticism, scrutiny and abuse.

"Bollywood is not a place, not a company and definitely not some mafia. It is a loosely coined term for a large number of individuals who work really hard to create, to entertain, to engage and unlike many other professions are always vulnerable to criticism, scrutiny and abuse, the Shahid director said.

He added that Bollywood has often become a diversionary vehicle for a few divisive, abusive and inefficient set of some cowardly invisible people.

Shah Rukh reached the prison around 9 am and left at 9.35 am after meeting his son for about 15 to 20 minutes. According to an official, there was a glass fencing between them and they spoke on the intercom. A few hours later, the NCB visited Mannat.

Taking a jibe at the NCB, Dhillon asked, "So how are the reporters and cameras all set already for the officials' to make an entry and all captured at the right time' for the visit'?"

"Great co-ordination with the paps! Well done. Many in the show-biz don't manage this timing right!" she wrote as she shared a video from a news portal showing NCB officials at Mannat's entrance.

Actor Sonu Sood had a word of caution for the media.

"Before running after someone's feelings with a camera, remember, God's camera is sitting on you. Because not every news is news," the actor tweeted in Hindi.

Since Aryan's arrest, noted film personalities, including Hrithik Roshan, Zoya Akhtar, Farah Khan and Raveena Tandon, have expressed their solidarity with Shah Rukh and his interior designer wife Gauri. Close friend superstar Salman Khan has also visited the couple several times.

The family has found ample support in SRK's fans too, many of whom said they empathised with him. After all, they had children too and this was one time when he was not just a star but a parent like them.

Like a bhelpuri hawker outside Shah Rukh's imposing sea front bungalow who was making a fast buck on a day so many media crews and fans had gathered.

"On a Thursday afternoon, we don't usually see so many people but it's packed. But it isn't that we are enjoying his (Shah Rukh's) misery. I also have a young son in Bihar, so I can understand what Shah Rukh must be feeling," Ram said.

Outside Mannat, a selfie spot for many tourists to Mumbai, a battery of mediapersons was stationed to catch any movement from the house.

A family of four from Bhopal took turns to click each other's pictures. Then finally, a family picture outside the gate after requesting a media photographer.

"We had heard that the place outside his residence is always crowded but we didn't expect so many media persons. The attention on him is obvious, he is a big star. But he will sail through," Rajesh, a businessman, said.

Prateek Solanki, an engineering student from the city, added that he has been visiting Shah Rukh's house since he was a child but the current times and the national spotlight on him is "heartbreaking".

"Aryan is almost my age. I can't imagine what he must be going through. But I'm praying everyday."

Another fan, Kuhu Goyal, said she had been standing outside Mannat since she saw visuals of Shah Rukh exiting Arthur Road Jail. She travelled more than an hour in a local train, from Virar to Bandra, to show solidarity.

"I really thought Aryan would get bail yesterday, that's what all of us were hoping for. So this is a huge setback and a massive heartbreak

"We stood by him through his highs and lows and this is possibly his lowest. The least we can do is stand by him now," the 25-year-old said.

(With PTI inputs)

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