Political Vendetta, Says National Conference as ED Questions Farooq Abdullah in Money Laundering Case
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti (L) gestures while interacting with Jammu and Kashmir National Conference President Farooq Abdullah (C) and former CM Omar Abdullah after a meeting in Srinagar on October 15, 2020. (TAUSEEF MUSTAFA / AFP)
The Enforcement Directorate on Monday questioned former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah in connection with a money laundering probe in a case related to the alleged embezzlement of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association funds, officials said. They said the National Conference president's statement will be recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) as in the past.
The ED case is based on an FIR filed by the CBI, which booked former JKCA office-bearers, including general secretary Mohammed Saleem Khan and former treasurer Ahsan Ahmad Mirza. The CBI later filed a chargesheet against Abdullah, Khan, Mirza as well as Mir Manzoor Gazanffer Ali, Bashir Ahmad Misgar and Gulzar Ahmad Beigh (former accountant of JKCA) for the "misappropriation of JKCA funds amounting to Rs 43.69 crore" from grants given by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to promote the sport in the state between 2002-11.
The ED said its probe found that JKCA received Rs 94.06 crore from BCCI in three different bank accounts during financial years 20052006 to 20112012 (up to December 2011). Abdullah's son Omar Abdullah tweeted that the National Conference would be responding to the ED summons shortly.
"This is nothing less then political vendetta coming days after the formation of the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration. To set the record straight no raids are being conducted at Dr Sahib's residence," he tweeted.
The development comes just days after the mainstream political parties in Jammu and Kashmir formed an alliance for restoration of the special status of the erstwhile state as it existed before August 5 last year and also to initiate a dialogue between all stakeholders in the issue.
Farooq Abdullah had said the leaders decided to formalise the alliance that has been named the 'Peoples' Alliance for Gupkar Declaration'. He said the alliance will strive for restoration of the constitutional position in respect of Jammu and Kashmir as it existed before August 5 last year.
"The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration aims to restore Jammu and Kashmir's constitutional status as it existed before August 5 last year," said Farooq Abdullah. "The People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration favours initiation of dialogue between all stakeholders for resolution of the J&K issue."
"We shall struggle for restoration of what was snatched from Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh. Ours is a constitutional battle ... we would strive for restoration of the constitution (with regard to Jammu and Kashmir) as it existed on August 5, 2019," he said.
(With PTI inputs)