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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Money laundering case: Mumbai Police issue prohibitory orders ahead of Sharad Pawar’s visit to ED office today

Sharad Pawar is going reach ED’s office by 2pm in connection with the Rs 25,000-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank scam.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2019 13:16 IST
Faisal Malik
Faisal Malik
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
NCP Party Workers stage protest against ED and BJP Government after ED to probe against NCP Chief Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank at Shivaji Chwok Vashi in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.
NCP Party Workers stage protest against ED and BJP Government after ED to probe against NCP Chief Sharad Pawar in Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank at Shivaji Chwok Vashi in Navi Mumbai on Thursday.(Photo by Bachchan Kumar/ Hindustan Times)
         

Police have imposed prohibitory orders in a few areas of south Mumbai hours ahead of Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar’s visit to the office of the Enforcement Directorate on Friday, officials said.

Sharad Pawar is going reach ED’s office by 2pm in connection with the Rs 25,000-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank scam.

Watch: Sharad Pawar to visit ED office, prohibitory orders imposed in South Mumbai 

Pawar had said on Wednesday he will go to ED’s office to ask if they needed any information from him after the agency booked him in a money-laundering case in the alleged Rs 25,000-crore MSC Bank fraud case.

MSC Bank is an apex body for all district central cooperative (DCC) banks in Maharashtra.

Also read: All about MSC Bank scam

Expecting that the NCP may put up a show of strength, the police have issued prohibitory orders in the areas of south Mumbai, including Ballard Estate where the offices of both ED and the NCP is situated.

They imposed the order under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which prohibits the assembly of more than four people at one place in Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, Azad Maidan, Dongri, JJ Marg and MRA Marg.

“Police is detaining NCP workers in Mumbai and in other parts of the state, it is not right. Sharad Pawar will definitely go to ED office at 2 pm today. BJP government is misusing Enforcement Directorate,” NCP leader Nawab Malik told reportes in Mumbai, according to ANI.

The orders were issued late on Thursday night. The security of the ED’s Mumbai office has also been increased and the area cordoned off with barricades.

The NCP is expecting hundreds of workers from across the state to support their leader, a senior party leader said.

“They have been asked to gather at the party office and not at ED office,” said a senior NCP functionary requesting not to be named.

However, Pawar has urged party workers not to gather near ED’s office and maintain peace.

ED had booked Sharad Pawar, his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, along with leaders from various parties on Tuesday under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

The case pertains to loans to co-operative sugar factories (CSFs), spinning mills and other processing units.

Most of the 48 directors of the MSC Bank at the time when the alleged fraud was committed between 2001 and 2011, were elected representatives from various parties, including Ajit Pawar.

Pawar has already clarified that he has never been a director of any of the banks.

The NCP chief has hinted that there was a political motive behind the move and also said that he will not bow down before New Delhi.

However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis insisted that the action is being taken in accordance with the Bombay high court order and there was no politics involved.

The friction between Pawar and BJP comes just weeks ahead of the October 21 assembly polls and the issue is likely to be played up during campaigning for the elections to 288-member Maharashtra assembly.