Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir National Conference (JKNC) has condemned the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Central government accusing them of “misusing” investigative agencies as the party vice-president Omar Abdullah faced questioning by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday.
In a statement issued by the party, a spokesperson said that the former chief minister of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was called by ED to Delhi to appear before the agency on the grounds that his attendance was “necessary in connection with an investigation.”
The party in response to Omar’s questioning accused the BJP of employing law enforcement agencies like the ED to target the opposition in the country.
“The central government has made a habit of misusing investigative agencies and this is another step in the same direction. No Political party that puts up meaningful opposition to the BJP has been spared whether it is ED, CBI, NIA, NCB – all have been used for political purposes,” the party said.
Referring to the summons as a “fishing expedition” that the party claimed will “yield no concrete results to the BJP,” the people, the spokesperson said, will give a “ringing endorsement to the national conference as and when required."
“The summons is another step in the vicious vilification campaign that started even before August 5, 2019. when constitutional position holders like the then Governor were used to make slanderous accusations against opponents of the BJP, knowing full well that there was no legal recourse available to those at the receiving end of these lies,” the statement added.
Omar Abdullah is believed to have been summoned in a case related to money laundering in J&K Bank.
Earlier on March 18, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked a former chairman of the bank, Mushtaq Ahmad, for allegedly providing loans and advances illegally in an alleged scam worth over Rs 800 crore.
The party, however, believes the summons to Omar is “political” in nature, and the senior party leader will cooperate with investigative agencies claiming there is no wrongdoing on his part and he is not an accused in any matter under investigation.
The JKNC also pointed out that ED is particularly being used by the BJP in regions where elections are scheduled against the opponents.
“There was a time when elections were announced by EC but now it seems that elections are announced by the ED. Over recent years we have seen that where ever state elections are due, agencies like the ED move in and target those parties who pose a challenge to the BJP,” the NC said.
ED had earlier questioned another former J&K chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in a money laundering case, that the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader also termed was a part of “larger suppression” of dissenting voices.
Since the abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A, regional political parties in Jammu and Kashmir, including the NC and PDP have accused the BJP of carrying out the politics of persecution to thwart all forms of opposition in the region, something that many international rights bodies have acknowledged.