India drug agency faces heat over arrest of Bollywood star’s son

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.

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.