Prabhakar Sail, an independent witness of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in the drugs-on-cruise case involving Aryan Khan, died of a heart attack, police said on Saturday.
Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil said the death seemed suspicious and he has ordered Director General of Police Rajnish Seth to conduct a probe.
"Prabhakar Sail, 37, died of a heart attack at his house in Mahul (in Mumbai) on Friday evening," a police official said earlier in the day.
He was rushed to the civic-run Rajawadi Hospital in Ghatkopar where he was declared brought dead, the official added.
"The sudden death of Sail looks suspicious and I have ordered the DGP to probe the matter," Walse-Patil told reporters.
Police initiated a probe by registering an Accidental Death Report at suburban RCF Police Station.
Sail was living in a rented house in Mahul area for the last few days, said a senior police official, adding it was not immediately known why he had shifted there. Sail's lawyer Tushar Khandare confirmed that he suffered a heart attack, and said Sail's family members do not suspect foul play.
Sail, who claimed to be the bodyguard of NCB witness K P Gosavi, had alleged in an affidavit that he had heard Gosavi discussing a Rs 25 crore pay-off deal to let off Aryan, son of Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, in an alleged drug seizure case.
The NCB had told a court later that Sail has turned hostile.
Aryan Khan was arrested during an NCB raid on a cruise ship off the Mumbai coast on October 3, 2021. He and 19 others were booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act for alleged possession, consumption, sale/purchase of banned drugs, conspiracy and abetment. Aryan and 17 others got bail while only two accused are currently in judicial custody.