National Conference president Farooq Abdullah received support from an unexpected quarter on Wednesday, with his arch rival, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti, questioning his interrogation by the Enforcement Directorate.
“JK cricket scam is an old case that’s been under investigation for quite some time,” Mufti posted on Twitter. “ED questioning Farooq sahab at a time when J&K mainstream parties are collectively standing up to protect its unique identity raises suspicions & questions.”
The Peoples Democratic Party president alleged that central agencies were being used to harass and intimidate those who dissent or do not fall in line, adding that it had become “brazen”.
Mufti’s reaction come after the ED questioned Abdullah earlier in the day in connection with a money-laundering case regarding alleged financial irregularities in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA).
Abdullah appeared before the central agency at its Chandigarh office and his statement was being recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The CBI has charged Abdullah and three others — then JKCA general secretary Md Saleem Khan, then treasurer Ahsan Ahmad Mirza, and J&K Bank executive Bashir Ahmad Misgar — under sections of the Ranbir Penal Code related to criminal conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.
The charge sheet was filed in July last year against them for allegedly misappropriating over Rs 43 crore from grants given by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to the JKCA for promoting the sport in the state between 2002-11. It had taken over the case from the state police in 2015 on orders of a division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. Abdullah and his son, Omar Abdullah, have earlier denied any wrongdoing.