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By Gaurav Arora
New Delhi [India], October 6 (ANI): Bhartiya Janta Party worker Manish Bhanushali on Wednesday accepted that he was the one who was seen escorting Arbaz Merchant, out of the International Cruise Terminal, as claimed by Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik, but clarified that he holds no official position in the party.
In a statement, Bhanushali claimed that Nawab Malik's son-in-law was arrested by NCB in a drug case recently, and hence, he is trying to do politics over it.
"I agree that I am the one in the photos shown, but no other party worker or leader can be spotted. I do not have any responsibility of the party presently, my responsibility is that of a common man," he said.
"NCP leader Nawab Malik has put wrong allegations against me. I got to know that last month one of Nawab Malik's son-in-law was held by NCB in a drug case, so he wants to do politics, defame NCB and want to defame our party," added the BJP worker.
Denying any connection of the BJP with the arrests, Bhanushali said, "BJP has nothing to do with it (the arrests). I received information on October 1 that a drugs party was to be held. I was with NCB officers (at the ship) for updated information."
Reiterating that he informed the agency out of a sense of responsibility for the country, he said, "I don't have any official position in BJP. I gave this information as being an active citizen of the country."
Bhanushali further requested the Maharashtra government to provide him security as Malik has "put his life in danger".
"I will file a defamation case against Nawab Malik," he added.
Malik had alleged that the NCB raid onboard a Mumbai cruise was "forgery", and that BJP had misused the central agency to frame Aryan Khan.
He had also alleged that "not even a single gram of drug was seized on the cruise or at the terminal."
Citing a video in which those detained from the Mumbai cruise were seen being taken to the NCB office, Mallik alleged that "the person taking him (Aryan Khan) to the office is a BJP leader Manish Bhanushali."
Eight persons including Aryan Khan, Arbaz Seth Merchant, Munmun Dhamecha, Vikrant Chhoker, Ismeet Singh, Nupur Sarika, Gomit Chopra and Mohak Jaswal were produced before Mumbai's Esplanade Court on Monday which remanded them to Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) custody till October 7.
An NCB team busted an alleged drugs party on the Cordelia Cruise ship which was on its way to Goa at mid-sea on Saturday night. (ANI)