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The arrest of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan in a drug case following a raid on a luxury cruise ship earlier this month has been making headlines in India for nearly two weeks now.

Aryan, 23, and seven others were detained on October 2 when officials from India’s Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) – tasked with combatting drug trafficking and the use of illegal substances – raided the party and reportedly seized drugs on the cruise ship off the Mumbai coast. The eight accused were formally arrested a day later.

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Since then, a total of 20 people have been arrested in the case after the NCB claimed to have made a seizure of 13 grams of cocaine, five grams of MD (mephedrone), 21 grams of charas, 22 pills of MDMA (ecstasy), and 133,000 Indian rupees ($1,766) in cash from the cruise ship bound for Goa.

Aryan was present on the ship but his lawyers said no drugs were recovered from him.

On Thursday, a special Mumbai court reserved its order on his bail plea until October 20 and sent him to a common cell of Mumbai’s Arthur Road Jail.

The case has triggered allegations that the right-wing Indian government was “harassing” the son of the country’s biggest Muslim actor only because of their religion.

What are the charges against Aryan Khan?
The NCB has charged Aryan with offences under various sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), a law related to the possession, consumption and purchase of drugs.

Appearing for the NCB, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh on Thursday claimed there was evidence to show that Aryan was a regular consumer of drugs for the last few years.

These days in India you are arrested and jailed for who you are. Not for what you have done.


On Wednesday the NCB, in its statement filed before the court, alleged that Aryan’s WhatsApp chats revealed he was in touch with some people who appear to be a “part of an international drug network for illicit procurement of drugs”.

“WhatsApp chats reveal the accused was in touch with a foreign national for a bulk quantity of hard drugs,” the statement said, adding that the probe so far has revealed Aryan’s role in the conspiracy.

The agency opposed his bail plea, saying it would affect their investigation as he could “tamper with evidence and influence witnesses”.

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