NEW DELHI : Jammu and Kashmir’s former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was questioned by Enforcement Directorate (ED) for almost five hours on Thursday in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering case pertaining to alleged irregularities in sanctioning of loans by the Jammu and Kashmir Bank.
He reached the ED office at around 11 a.m. and his questioning went on till 4 p.m.
Addressing media persons afterwards, he charged the ED with only wanting to show that he was called in a scam.
“It was an ongoing investigation which is almost 12 or 13 years old. ED is investigating this case and called me for questioning. I will not reveal what is the actual scam. You ask that from the ED,” Abdullah said.
Abdullah said that no allegations were levelled against him by the probe agency.
“The aim to call media here was only to send a message that Omar Abdullah is being quizzed in connection with an scam,” he said.
He said that he answered all the questions and was ready to join the investigation in future too.
The ED case is on the basis of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s case in which the J&K Bank’s then Chairman Mushtaq Ahmad Shaikh and others are accused.
It has been alleged that in 2010, the management of Jammu and Kashmir Bank bought a property in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla from Akruti Gold Builders allegedly at an exorbitant price of Rs 180 crore. The CBI had said that it was a well-planned conspiracy by the accused, and filed a case in 2021.
Meanwhile, the National Conference on Thursday slammed the Centre after former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).
In a statement the Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) said its Vice President Omar Abdullah was called by the ED to Delhi to appear before it on Thursday on the grounds that his attendance was necessary in connection with an investigation.
“Inspite of it being the holy month of Ramzan, and Delhi not being his primary place of residence, Mr. Abdullah did not seek a postponement or a change of venue and appeared as per the notice,” the statement said.
“The central government has made a habit of misusing investigative agencies and this is another step in the same direction. No political party that puts up meaningful opposition to the BJP has been spared, whether it is the ED, CBI, NIA, NCB – all have been used for political purposes.”
The statement added that there was a time when elections were announced by the Election Commission, but now it seems that elections are announced by the ED.
“Over recent years we have seen that whereever state elections are due, agencies like the ED move in and target those parties who pose a challenge to the BJP,” the statement said.
“This summons to our Vice President is in the same vein. We have no doubt that this fishing expedition will yield no concrete results to the BJP and the people will give a ringing endorsement to the national conference as and when required.”
The statement further said that “this summon is another step in the vicious vilification campaign that started even before 5th August 2019, when constitutional position holders like the then Governor were used to make slanderous accusations against opponents of the BJP, knowing full well that there was no legal recourse available to those at the receiving end of these lies.
“Even though this exercise is political in nature, Mr Omar Abdullah will cooperate with investigative agencies as there is no wrongdoing on his part and he is not an accused in any matter under investigation.” — IANS