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Man of Few Words, Sanjay Kumar Singh To Head Probe Into Sameer Wankhede’s Misconduct

He is a man of action and few words. Despite holding a number of sensitive positions, he refuses to be guarded by a possé of security personnel. Meet Sanjay Kumar Singh, the Deputy Director General (DDG) of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) who has replaced mercurial officer Samir Wankhede to probe the high profile Aryan Khan case besides five other sensitive cases. He will also head the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe into administrative misconduct and procedural lapses of his predecessor, Wankhede. 

Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan had been arrested by Wankhede’s team on October 2 night from a Goa-bound cruise. Though nothing was found on him, nor had he consumed drugs, yet he was charged with drug peddling on the basis of some WhatsApp chats he had with another actor, Ananya Pandey, two years ago. He was, however, granted bail by the Bombay High Court after one month of incarceration.
The other cases taken away from Wankhede and entrusted to Sanjay Kumar Singh include the one of Sameer Khan, son-in-law of the powerful Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik. Khan had been arrested in January this year by Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede on charges of being in possession of 200 kgs of drugs. He had, however, claimed the seized contraband to be ‘perfumed tobacco’. Khan was granted bail by the designated court in September – full eight months after his arrest.
Wankhede along with wife Kranti Redkar and his sister Shabnam, has on several occasions abused Malik of orchestrating a baseless personal tirade against the NCB Zonal Director because he had arrested the Minister’s son-in-law. Nawab, though, claimed that his assertions were backed by certified documents.

EXTORTION CHARGES AGAINST WANKHEDE
Malik claimed that Wankhede had framed Shahrukh’s son Aryan and other high profile people on fake charges, to extort money from them. He had also alleged that Wankhede had produced a fake certificate of him belonging to Scheduled Caste, to get selected in Indian Revenue Service (IRS) through UPSC exam under SC quota.
He was also accused of marrying his first wife, a Muslim, through Islamic traditions under Shariat. It was because of these controversies that the six high profile cases were taken away from Sameer Wankhede and entrusted to Sanjay Kumar Singh.

HEADED DRUG TASK FORCE
Sanjay Kumar Singh is a 1996-batch Odisha cadre IPS officer who headed Drug Task Force (DTF) in Odisha as Additional Director General (ADG) till last year. During his tenure with the DTF, Singh launched a series of anti-drug drives in the state and busted several drug trafficking rackets in Bhubaneswar.

His eventful stint there apparently became a stepping stone for him for the all-important posting in NCB as DDG in January this year.

THE CBI STINT
He has also worked as Inspector General of Police (IGP), Personnel, Odisha Police and as an Additional Commissioner of Police in Bhuvneshwar, Odisha.

In 2008, Singh had gone on deputation to the CBI till 2015 as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) where he handled several high-profile cases including that of embezzlement in New Delhi Commonwealth Games, Medical Council of India scam and CRPF recruitment scam.

NON-CONTROVERSIAL
Unlike Wankhede, Sanjay Kumar Singh has never been mired in any controversy. “He doesn’t mingle easily with people. He is a very reserved person, a hard nut to crack,” says one of his old colleagues from Odisha Police. He never uses his government vehicle for personal chores. Besides, he avoids putting three stars on his car’s number plate and shuns police personnel as well, the official said.

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