Mehbooba writes to ED, raises concerns of being 'hounded'

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Days after Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti accused the New Delhi of “misusing” its central investigating agencies for “targeting her family and party workers”, the former chief minister wrote to the director of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) alleging that the agency was being used as a tool to “hound political opponents by the ruling party at the Centre”.

The letter posted by Mehbooba Mufti on Twitter says, “The use of the Enforcement Directorate against political opponents is not an unknown device for a party in power at the Centre.”

A copy of the letter has also been marked by Mufti to the Secretary in the Department of Revenue and to the Union Home Secretary. It is titled ‘ED’s Roving Inquiries’.

In the letter, Mufti alleges, “The ED has been summoning various persons from Kashmir, possibly in connection with the case numbered ECIR/16/HIV/2020.”

Mufti said that the “only common thread connecting these persons” appeared to be their acquaintance to her, her family or her politics in one way or another.

“The questioning of these persons is also focused on myself, my personal, political and financial affairs; my late father’s grave and memorial, my sister’s finances, home construction, my brother’s finances and personal affairs,” she said.

Mufti who was released from 14-month detention in November has also referred to how “not very long ago, a key person of the PDP, who has now been returned successful by the people of Kashmir in the DDC elections, Waheed Para was arrested by the NIA in what appears to be a non-existent case around the dates of the elections”.

In the letter, Mufti has written that on the eve of the DDC election results, “Several of her relatives and party leaders were also kept in unlawful detention by the state administration”. Mufti said that “the use of the Enforcement Directorate against political opponents is not an unknown device for a party in power at the Centre”.

“I wish to notify you that as a responsible citizen and politician, a former chief minister and Member of Parliament, and the daughter of one of the most illustrious public personalities in this country, I am ready and willing to face any questioning by any agency but I will insist upon the legitimacy of the process,” Mufti wrote.

Mufti also alleged sustained electronic surveillance. “I have understood that mobile phones and personal digital devices of some of the persons summoned in connection with the aforesaid ECIR have been seized by or at the behest of the ED, or by intelligence agencies coincidental with the summons issued by the ED,” Mufti said in the letter.

“I draw your attention to Section 21(2) of the PMLA, 2002 and also notify you of the right to privacy, the right to democratic politics and indeed the right to due process. This is further to put you on notice that if you intend to question me or examine my electronic or digital devices, or those of the members of my family, you shall only do it in the presence of myself or my representative and under the supervision of an impartial and judicial authority. If there is any breach of what I consider to be the norms of law, good conduct or constitutionalism, I shall not hesitate to take the matter up legally and politically,” the letter reads.