Move triggers reactions from regional parties in J&K.
Srinagar: Recently, the central government gave all indications that Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir would be held after the revised electoral rolls are completed. It could be a coincidence, but the parties like National Conference (NC) and PDP call it a witch-hunt by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) as the agency filed a supplementary chargesheet against former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association money laundering case.
After the filing of chargesheet, court has issued notices to all the accused persons, including Dr Farooq Abdullah, to appear before the PMLA Special Court on 27 August 2022. Reacting to the supplementary chargesheet, NC spokesperson Sara Hayat Shah told media that ED and CBI are being used in Jammu and Kashmir to silence all the opposition parties of BJP to keep the field open for them to grab power.
The National Conference also issued a statement after sensing possible arrests of Farooq Abdullah and said, “Farooq Abdullah shall always stick to the truth, no matter how stories are fabricated, truth manipulated and dissent suppressed; however, he will cooperate with the agencies and vindicate himself.”
Senior National Conference leader who has remained cabinet minister for a long time in J&K told this newspaper that BJP is scared after Farooq Abdullah declared that the Assembly elections would be contested jointly under the platform of PAGD. He said that the entire PAGD leadership is under the scanner of ED, CBI and other agencies.
Former chief minister and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti has been summoned and questioned by the ED in a similar fund diversion case. The ED has also served notices to her mother Gulshan Nazir, wife of former chief minister Mufti Muhammad Syed, for the same money laundering case. It is in place to mention that after having credible inputs, ED conducted raids and searches on 23 December 2020 in Srinagar and Delhi on the properties of Anjum Fazili, former MLC and close friend of Mehbooba Mufti, and after the raids, Mehbooba was also summoned and questioned by ED officials in the same case.
Mehbooba Mufti has already said that all such cases of ED and other agencies were aimed at silencing dissent in Jammu and Kashmir and keep no opposition visible for the BJP in the coming Assembly elections. The fresh supplementary chargesheet filed by ED has signaled more trouble for Farooq Abdullah in the money laundering case of JKCA.
The ED has already attached movable and immovable assets worth crores belonging to Farooq Abdullah and other accused in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association scam. ED in its chargesheet has said that JKCA funds were transferred to various personnel bank accounts of those persons who were not connected with JKCA. Similarly, they have detected that there have been unexplained cash withdrawals from JKCA bank accounts when Farooq Abdullah headed the JKCA.