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Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan’s son cleared of drug charges

By Annisa Essack

Bollywood megastar Shah Rukh Khan’s son was cleared on Friday in a drug case involving a party on a luxury cruise ship. Aryan Khan, 24, an aspiring actor and director, was arrested in October during a raid on the cruise ship off Mumbai, and he was released on bail after three weeks. India’s Narcotics Control Bureau pressed charges against 14 other people.

Speculation is rife whether Shah Rukh was being targeted for being Muslim. Multimedia journalist Asma Rafat from Delhi spoke to Radio Islam International to shed light on the story unfolding.

She explained that India’s Narcotics Control Bureau dropped the charges due to insufficient evidence. She added that Aryan Khan’s lawyers, Satish Manishinde and Mukul Rohatgi, said in a statement that the 26-day detention of Aryan was unjustified, and there were no narcotics found at the time of the arrest. India’s Narcotics Control Bureau concurred with the information, and the Bombay High Court then dropped all charges against Aryan Khan.

Regarding the speculation surrounding the case, mainly due to the country’s current political climate and Islamophobic situation, Rafat says Aryan is a Muslim boy of a famous Bollywood actor. She explained that Aryan was charged as the accused number from among a group of twenty people. Furthermore, the Anti-Drug Agency claimed in court that a WhatsApp chat proved his involvement in an illicit drug deal and linked him with a foreign drug cartel; however, chats were merely the boasting of young men.

Whether the Khans would take the matter further, Rafat says they will not take any legal action as Shah Rukh Khan has never been politically inclined.

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