National Conference President Farooq Abdullah appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday for questioning related to a money laundering case, PTI reported.
The case pertains to alleged irregularities in grants of Rs 112 crore given by the Board of Control for Cricket in India to the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association. The central agency has alleged that more than Rs 50 crore were siphoned off between 2002 and 2011 from the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association when Abdullah was its president.
The alleged scam came to light in March 2012 when former Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association Treasurer Manzoor Wazir filed a complaint against its general secretary at the time, Mohammad Saleem Khan, and former treasurer Ahsan Mirza.
On May 27, the Enforcement Directorate issued a summons to Abdullah under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, PTI reported. On Tuesday, he was questioned for more than three-and-a-half hours.
“I won’t say much [about the summons] there are elections to be held and they will trouble us till then,” he told reporters after his interrogation.
The Union government has said that it will hold elections in Jammu and Kashmir after the delimitation exercise, or redrawing of boundaries, is completed. On May 14, the Supreme Court asked the Centre and the Election Commission of India to reply to a plea challenging the Delimitation Commission.
The National Conference on May 27 had said that there was nothing new about the Enforcement Directorate serving summons to members of the Opposition.
“This is common for all Opposition parties in India,” the National Conference said in a tweet. “He [Abdullah] has continued to maintain his innocence in the matter and has cooperated with the investigative agencies and will do so in this case as well.”
The investigative agencies are active when elections are announced in a state, National Conference spokesperson Imran Dar said on May 27, the Hindustan Times reported. “This appears to be the case this time as well and this is the price Opposition parties pay for opposing this government,” he said.
Dar said that leaders of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration are always targeted by the Union government.
The People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration is an alliance of seven parties in Jammu and Kashmir. It was formed after the Centre scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in August 2019.