Cruise ship raid witness Prabhakar Sail dies
Mumbai, April 2, 2022
Prabhakar Sail - a "panch witness" in the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) raids on the Cordelia Cruise ship last October -- died after a suspected heart attack here on Saturday.
Sail, in his mid-40s, suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Mahul, Chembur, according to his lawyer Tushar Khandare.
Soon after the October 2 raids aboard the cruiser, Sail had created a sensation accusing the then NCB Mumbai Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede of various irregularities, including allegations of extortion from Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan son Aryan was among those detained and later arrested.
Besides Aryan Khan, around 19 others were nabbed and Sail -- a personal bodyguard of an independent witness and Bharatiya Janata Party activist K. P. Gosavi -- had later made several shocking revelations that raised questions about the raid.
Incidentally, after the claims by Sail and later the serial exposes made by Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik, Gosavi came under a cloud and was arrested by the Pune Police in a cheating case.
Taking serious cognisance of the death of Sail, the Maharashtra government on Saturday ordered the police to probe his sudden demise.
After doubts were raised over the death of Sail, State Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil has directed Mumbai Police to investigate the matter.
His grieving and aged mother Hiravati Sail told mediapersons that her son had been incommunicado for the past few days, and leaves behind two minor daughters.
Earlier, on Saturday morning, the ruling Nationalist Congress Party, a constituent of the ruling alliance in the state, and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised questions about the witness' death.
Terming it as a 'suspicious development', NCP chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe.
BJP legislator Atul Bhatkalkar wondered whether Sail had met a fate similar to the Thane businessman Mansukh Hiran who was found murdered after the sensational case involving a SUV with 20 gelatin sticks was recovered near the home of industrialist Mukesh Ambani erupted in February 2021.
Besides Aryan Khan, around 19 others were nabbed and two are still in custody, while the NCB has been granted two months' extension to file its chargesheet in the Cordelia Cruise ship swoop case.