Srinagar, Oct 21: Former Chief Minister Dr Farooq Abdullah was again on Wednesday summoned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with multi crore Jammu and Kashmir Cricket (JKCA) scam of 2012.
Official sources told UNI that Dr Abdullah, who turned 84 today, was again summoned today for further questioning in the scam.
This is the second time during this week Dr Farooq has been summoned by the ED in Srinagar. On Monday he was questioned in connection the scam for six hours. However, the 83-year-old president of the National Conference (NC) alleged that he was not even allowed to take lunch during questioning.
However, all mainstream political parties, particularly signatures of Gupkar Declaration, now named as “Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration” described it political vendetta for demanding restoration of special status of the Jammu and Kashmir.
After his questioning Dr Abdullah on Monday told had reporters that the resolve of people of Jammu and Kashmir for restoration of Article 370 will continue, even if he (Abdullah) is dead.
Dr Abdullah said, ”Let the ED do their job and I will do my job.” However, he added that his fate will be decided by the court, when they put up the case there (court).
When a reporter asked if he believe that he was summoned by the ED because of formation of Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration, Dr Abdullah said, ”Do not bring the Gupkar into this”.
To another question on whether the ED questioning would weaken his resolve to fight for seeking restoration of Article 370, Dr Abdullah said it was not only his resolve, but the resolve of people of Jammu and Kashmir. The fight for restoration of Article 370 will continue, whether he is dead or alive, added Dr Abdullah.
Meanwhile, reacting sharply to fresh summon from ED to Dr Abdullah the NC on Wednesday expressed anger and lambasted the government for its agenda of cornering any voices of dissent.
Terming these ED summons, the latest being today, calculated coercive measures, the party spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said that it is aimed at curtailing Dr Abdullah’s efforts to weave unity among mainstream political parties in J&K.
Calling the repeated ED summons, pressure tactics, he said, “What is it that ED forgot to ask during the six hours it interrogated an 83 yr old Member of Parliament?”
The government and its agencies, the spokesperson said, has no consideration for a law abiding citizen who is severely immune compromised and diabetic.
“Dr Abdullah being treated like this is a proof that the BJP is not even interested in a face saving act and is completely comfortable with being seen as a bully by the nation,” he said.
“How many times will BJP use CBI, ED, Anti Corruption Bureau and its other agencies to browbeat opposition? The plot has become predictable. Anyone who speaks against the government or musters courage against its divisive politics will be hounded and summoned,” he added.
“The only way to get a clean chit these days is to surrender one’s ideology and join the BJP. We’ve seen this story play out from Assam to Karnataka, from West Bengal to Andhra Pradesh but Dr Abdullah is not going to surrender to the BJP, come what may.”
Dr Abdullah was first questioned in the case in Chandigrah by the ED on July 31, 2019, a month before centre scrapped Special status of the erstwhile J&K and put him and other political leaders, including two more former CMs—Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba– under detention.
The ED questioning of Dr Abdullah is based on an FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2015 alleging a scam involving about Rs 38 crore in the JKCA.
They said the CBI later filed a charge sheet in the case against Dr Abdullah, who was heading the JKCA and three others, including Ahsan Mirza. Mirza has reportedly told the CBI that whatever he has done was on the directions of Dr Abdullah. It is being alleged misappropriation of funds provided by the BCCI for developing sports infrastructure and organising cricket matches.
Dr Abdullah was the president of the cricket association when the alleged scam took place. Among those also booked in the case are former association general secretary Saleem Khan, treasurer Ahsan Mirza and bank executive Bashir Ahmed.