Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president Farooq Abdullah (R) poses along with former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti after a meeting in Srinagar on October 15.(AFP FILE)
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president Farooq Abdullah (R) poses along with former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti after a meeting in Srinagar on October 15.(AFP FILE)

‘Vendetta’: Mufti, Lone condemn ED action against Abdullah in JKCA case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday attached properties of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference president Farooq Abdullah valued around Rs 11.86 crore in connection with its money laundering probe linked to alleged financial irregularities in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA)
Srinagar, Hindustan Times | By Mir Ehsan
PUBLISHED ON DEC 20, 2020 04:59 PM IST

Leaders of several political parties have accused the Centre of using central agencies against the Kashmiri leadership and termed attachment of properties of National Conference president Farooq Abdullah as “vendetta” .

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday attached residential and commercial properties worth nearly Rs 12 crore of former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and Lok Sabha member Abdullah in a case of alleged money laundering.

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president and former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti termed the move a political vendetta.

“Attaching Dr Farooq sahab’s properties is sheer political vendetta as was evident from the abuses heaped on PAGD (People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration) by BJP. People of J&K were least impressed & placed their faith in the alliance. Using agencies like NIA & ED to settle scores shows BJPs frustration,” tweeted Mufti, reacting to the attachment of Abdullah’s property worth Rs 11.86 crores in different places by the ED.

She was referring to the tie-up between Abdullah’s NC, its rival-turned-ally PDP, and four other parties with an aim to demand the restoration of the erstwhile state’s special status nullified by the Centre in a controversial move last year. The other parties in the grouping are the Peoples Conference (PC), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Peoples Movement (PM), and the Awami National Conference (ANC).

According to the ED, between 2005 and 2006 to December 2011, Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association received funding totalling 109.78 crore from the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). “Dr Farooq Abdullah, between 2006 and January 2012 (when he was president of JKCA), misused his position and clout by illegal appointments of office bearer at JKCA to whom he gave financial powers for the purpose of laundering of JKCA funds,” an ED statement said.

CPI(M) general secretary Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami said the BJP government must realise the dangers of “witch-hunting and intimidation, and desist from vindictive designs”. “ It is time for secular democratic forces across the country to raise their voice against such designs of the BJP government,” he said.

The PC chairman and spokesman of the PAGD, Sajjad Lone, termed the action against Abdullah “coercive”.

“The ED action against Dr Farooq Sahib seems unambiguously coercive. The timing is conspicuous. Government should understand that in the context of the hard policy that they r pursuing the dividing line between law of the land and vendetta has vanished,” he said.

The Jammu and Kashmir BJP has denied any political vendetta behind the action targeted at Abdullah in the JKCA case.

However, Srinagar mayor and Apni Party leader Junaid Azim Mattu hit out at Mufti for defending Abdullah in J&K Cricket Association scam.

“I absolutely fail to understand how @MehboobaMufti of all the people can term any investigate action into the alleged JKCA scam as “political vendetta”. For YEARS she, her party and the other PAGD allies have been demanding EXACTLY THIS - both openly and behind closed doors!,” tweeted Mattu.

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