NCB officer says he never converted
Mumbai- The Qazi who had performed the first marriage of Sameer Wankhede, the Mumbai zonal director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in 2006, on Wednesday claimed the officer belonged to a Muslim family otherwise the ‘nikah’ would not have been solemnised as per Islam.
The Qazi’s claim came in the backdrop of Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik’s allegations that Wankhede was born Muslim, but forged documents, including a caste certificate, to show that he belonged to the Hindu SC category to get a job under quota after clearing the UPSC examination.
“I had performed the ‘nikah’ of Sameer Wankhede and Shabana Qureshi. Her father had approached me to perform the marriage in the Lokhandwala complex area of Mumbai. The groom’s name was Sameer Dawood Wankhede who married Shabana Qureshi,” Maulana Mujammil Ahmed told a news channel.
When asked about Wankhede’s claim that he is Hindu the Qazi said had Sameer Wankhede been a Hindu the ‘nikah’ would not have been performed.
“I can remember it was a joyful wedding for sure,” he said.
The Maulana also claimed that all the witnesses had signed the Nikahnama as per Islamic customs.
“If Sameer Wankhede and his family members are claiming that he is Hindu by birth and that his father is also Hindu, then I would say it is wrong,” he added.
He also claimed that the “Mehar” amount mentioned in the nikahnama was Rs 33,000.
“Mehar” in Islam is a security deposit. The term “Mehar” signifies a contract made by the groom and his family to his bride at the time of their nikkah.
Wankhede had said that his father is a Hindu and his late mother Zaheeda was Muslim.
Wankhede had also said he belongs to a “composite, multi-religious and secular family in true Indian tradition” and he is proud of his heritage.
The NCB officer also stated that he married Dr Shabana Qureshi in 2006 under the Special Marriage Act. Both of them divorced mutually through a civil court in 2016. Later, in 2017, he married Marathi actress Kranti Redkar, the official added.
As the controversy over his marriage and religion refused to die down, Wankhede, who is in the eye of a political storm following allegations of extortion in the high-profile cruise drugs case in which actor Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested, on Wednesday said he had married (in 2006) as per Muslim customs as per the wish of his late mother.
“Fulfilling the wish of one’s mother in a secular country is not a crime. I am proud of secularism in our country. My mother was Muslim and my father is Hindu. I love both of them very much,” Wankhede told PTI.
Wankhede asserted that he never converted to Islam and he belonged to a Hindu caste.
He said his first marriage was registered under the Special Marriage Act within a month. “The process of divorce was also completed as per the Special Marriage Act. I was never converted to Islam and I belong to a Hindu caste of my family,” Wankhede claimed.
Meanwhile, Wankhede’s father once again refuted allegations of Nawab Malik about his religion. Malik had said Wankhede senior’s real name is Dawood Wankhede and not Dnyandev Wankhede.
“I do not understand Urdu, hence I am not aware what my name was written in their documents (nikahnama). She (my late wife) might have mentioned my name as Dawood affectionately. People do call each other with different names out of love,” he told reporters.
He said all the government documents mentioned his name as Dnyandev Wankhede. “When the state government recruited me, they must have done some verification as well,” he added.
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