'I welcome ED': Nawab Malik says he is not scared of probe into Waqf Board
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik on Thursday said he welcomes the Enforcement Directorate's action in connection with Pune Waqf Board's alleged land scam case as the minorities ministry under which the Waqf Board falls has already started a clean-up action. "News reports are claiming that now Nawab Malik will be in trouble as ED has taken up some cases pertaining to his ministry. I want to say ED is more than welcome and we will cooperate with them in every possible way. But if there is a campaign to threaten me or to malign my image because of the fight that we have started against central agencies, then I would say Maharashtra government, Maharashtra ministers, leaders do not get scared by central agencies," Nawab Malik said in a press conference.
There has been no raid in the Waqf Board office as well, Nawab Malik said. "The agency can only clarify whether Devendra Fadnavis made the complaint or not. I only came to know that there have been some raids and that television channels are saying Nawab Malik is in trouble," the minister said.
Seven places in Pune and one place in Aurangabad were raided by the Enforcement Directorate officials in connection with the Pune Waqf Board land scam case involving irregularities to the tune of ₹10 crore. The raids started on Thursday morning after an Enforcement Case Information Report was registered by the ED zone 2 office of the agency.
Giving details of the alleged scam, Nawab Malik said action has already been taken by his ministry against the scam. An FIR was filed and five people were arrested in connection with the case. Three people have got bail, the minister added.
"After I took charge of the department, Waqf Board has the full freedom to work according to the act. Also for the first time in the history of Maharashtra, 10 members of the Waqf Board have been appointed. It is for the first time that Maharashtra has a full-fledged Waqf Board. We also have a permanent CEO of the Board now," the minister said.
Nawab Malik is up in arms against Narcotics Control Bureau following the arrest of Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan in a drugs case. Early this year, Nawab Malik's son-in-law Sameer Khan was also arrested in a drug case by the central agency.
(With inputs from Mumbai bureau)