Two days after National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for six hours, he was once again summoned by the investigating agency on Wednesday and questioned for five hours.
The questioning which went on from 11 am till 4 pm at the ED office at Rajbagh is in connection with an alleged scam in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA).
Dr Abdullah, who had addressed media persons after Monday’s questioning, looked more pensive on Wednesday and walked straight into his vehicle after the questioning. Unlike Monday, Dr Abdullah who is the current Member of Parliament from Srinagar constituency, did not speak to the media persons waiting outside the ED office.
In July 2019, Dr Abdullah was questioned by the ED for the first time in Chandigarh. His latest questioning happened to be on a day when the former J&K chief minister was to be celebrating his 84th birthday.
Taking to Twitter, Abdullah’s son and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah while retweeting a National Conference party statement wrote: “This on a day when my father turns 84!”
Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti also took to Twitter saying the questioning of NC president “won’t deter us (Peoples Alliance for Gupkar Declaration) from pursuing our common goal (restoration of Article 370).”
“Disgraceful that ED has summoned Farooq sahab yet again despite a marathon interrogation that lasted for six hours. The fact that GOI is jittery because of our united front is for all to see. Such actions won’t deter us from pursuing our common goal,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.
On Monday after the ED questioning Dr Abdullah had said that the questioning will not deter the “political struggle for restoration of Article 370 and 35-A.” Abdullah had also said he was not worried and would cooperate in the probe.
The ED questioning of Dr Abdullah on Monday had taken place four days after several political parties, including the NC and the PDP, met at Abdullah’s residence and formed the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration which vows to fight for restoration of Article 370.
It may be recalled that ED is questioning Abdullah about his role and decisions taken when the alleged fraud took place in the Association when he was the JKCA president.
ED’s 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 had also filed a charge sheet in 2018 against Abdullah, Khan, Mirza as well as former JKCA treasurer Mir Manzoor Gazanffer Ali 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 J&K between 2002 and 2011.