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ED again questions Farooq Abdullah for 5 hours in JKCA money laundering case

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Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah, who turned 84 on Wednesday, was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for five hours in connection with a multi-crore scam in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association during 2002-11.

The National Conference president drove off after his questioning, for the second time in three days, at the ED office in Rajbagh here without talking to reporters waiting outside, unlike on Monday when he had asserted that he was prepared to answer all questions and was not worried about the case.

He was questioned for over six hours on Monday.

ED officials said on condition of anonymity that Abdullah had been called again on Wednesday to obtain some clarifications, PTI reported. He was questioned for the first time in July last year in Chandigarh after the agency had registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in 2018.

The officials said Abdullah’s statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and he was asked about the procedures followed and decisions taken when he was the president of the cricket body, the time when the alleged scam is said to have taken place.

The agency is expected to file a fresh charge-sheet in the case soon, they said.

As Abdullah went for his second round of questioning, his son and former chief minister Omar Abdullah expressed his displeasure and tweeted the party statement on his father’s summons with the comment: “This on a day when my father turns 84!”

The last round of questioning took place four days after Jammu and Kashmir’s mainstream political parties, including the NC and the PDP, met at Abdullah’s residence and formed the People’s Alliance for ‘Gupkar Declaration’.

The agency’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 the erstwhile state between 2002 and 2011.

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