File photo: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah.(ANI)
File photo: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah.(ANI)

‘No political vendetta, Farooq questioned as per law’: J-K BJP chief

Former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said it was a huge scam but “nobody dared probe it”.
By Ravi Krishnan Khajuria | Edited by Sparshita Saxena | Hindustan Times, Jammu
UPDATED ON OCT 19, 2020 07:40 PM IST

The Jammu and Kashmir BJP on Monday outrightly denied any political vendetta behind the questioning of the National Conference president and Lok Sabha member Farooq Abdullah in a multi-crore scam of the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). The party maintained that the huge scam was probed on the directions of the High Court in accordance with the provisions of law.

The ED on Monday questioned Farooq Abdullah in connection with a money-laundering probe related to a multi-crore scam in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association.

“There is no political vendetta behind the questioning of Dr Farooq Abdullah by the Enforcement Directorate in multi-crore JKCA scam. It is an old scam and it happened when he (Farooq) was the president of the cricket body. A petition was filed before the High Court and on its directions, action under law is being taken. If he was asked to appear before the ED then it was purely as per law. There is no political vendetta behind it,” said JK BJP president Ravinder Raina.

Raina further said, “If someone has done something wrong and has misused public money meant for development then he has to be held accountable under the law and has to be punished under the law. We all are answerable to the law.”

Former deputy chief minister Kavinder Gupta said that it was a long pending scam and none dared investigate it.

“It was a big fraud and at that time the JKCA was divided into two factions. The probe should have been held long back. Where the heck crores of rupees have gone… it is a huge sum of money that belonged to taxpayers,” he said.

Gupta also questioned that if Dr Farooq’s father was a government teacher then from where did they accumulate such huge wealth.

Also read: ‘Farooq Abdullah kept at ED office for 5 hours despite his age’ - People’s Alliance attacks Centre

“Those who misused power, they need to be exposed,” he added.

Dr Farooq Abdullah’s son and vice president of the National Conference Omar Abdullah reacted acerbically to the development.

“The party will be responding to this ED summons shortly. This is nothing less then 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,” Omar posted on his Twitter handle.

PDP chief and former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti also expressed her anger.

“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 & wont in the least blunt our collective resolve to fight for our rights,” she posted on Twitter.

People’s Conference chairman Sajad Lone posted, “What a sorry state of affairs. Dr Farooq sahib summoned by ED. Reeks of vendetta. Contrary to what they want to coercively achieve this will certainly have the opposite impact”.

Several constituents of the newly formed People’s Alliance, comprising mainstream political parties from Jammu and Kashmir, described Abdullah’s questioning as a “witch hunt” and “political vendetta” by the Centre.

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 (former JKCA treasurer) and former accountants Bashir Ahmad Misgar and Gulzar Ahmad Beigh 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 the JKCA received Rs 94.06 crore from the BCCI in three different bank accounts during financial years 2005-2006 to 2011-2012 (up to December 2011).

The ED alleged that several other bank accounts were opened in the name of the JKCA into which the funds were transferred. The bank accounts, along with the existing bank accounts, were later used for laundering JKCA funds.

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