New Delhi October 19th
PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti on Monday questioned the timing of the Enforcement Directorate’s action against National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah. Mufti in a tweet termed Farooq’s grilling as a political vendetta. She added that the ‘sudden’ summons to Farooq shows the Centre’s nervousness over the coming together of Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream political parties for the restoration of special status.
“ED’s sudden summon to Farooq sahab displays the extent of GOIs nervousness about mainstream parties in J&K fighting as one unit. Also reeks of political vendetta & won’t in the least blunt our collective resolve to fight for our rights,” the People’s Democratic Party leader tweeted.
Farooq’s son Omar Abdullah too reacted sharply to ED’s action, terming it as a political vendetta. “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.
The Enforcement Directorate earlier today questioned Farooq Abdullah in connection with a money-laundering probe in a case related to the alleged embezzlement of Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association funds. 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 the financial years 2005–2006 to 2011–2012 (up to December 2011).
Farooq’s questioning comes days after he chaired a meeting at his residence for chalking out the future course of action on ‘Gupkar Declaration’ concerning the special status of Jammu and Kashmir. The meeting was attended by Mehbooba Mufti, who was released from detention recently.
The National Conference, PDP, and others have announced an alliance to fight for the restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status which was scrapped by the Modi government in August 2019.