ED questions Farooq Abdullah in money-laundering case; Omar, Mehbooba Mufti call it ‘political vendetta’

Omar Abdullah also clarified that no raids were being conducted at Farooq Abdullah’s residence.

FP Staff October 19, 2020 14:52:08 IST
ED questions Farooq Abdullah in money-laundering case; Omar, Mehbooba Mufti call it ‘political vendetta’

File Image of NC leader Farooq Abdullah. ANI

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 letter from the Enforcement Directorate came after the Gupkar declaration. It is clear political vendetta after the 'People's Alliance' was formed in Kashmir," a National Conference spokesperson told NDTV on Monday.

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 charge sheet 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 the financial years 2005–2006 to 2011–2012 (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 than 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.

PDP president Mehbooba Mufti also dubbed the move as political vendetta.

On 4 August last year, all major political parties in Kashmir, except BJP, had met at the residence of Farooq Abdullah amidst uncertainty and tension in the erstwhile state as the Centre had rushed additional paramilitary forces there while asking all tourists including Amarnath pilgrims to leave the Valley as soon as possible.

This came a day before the Centre announced its decision of revocation of Jammu and Kashmir's special status and split it into two Union Territories.

The joint statement issued by the political parties then, expressing concern over the situation, came to be known as the Gupkar Declaration.

With inputs from PTI

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