Over two months after it questioned Farooq Abdullah in the money laundering case linked to the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association, the Enforcement Directorate attached assets worth ₹11.86 crore belonging to the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and others, sources said on Saturday.
The agency has issued a provisional attachment order under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The attached properties are located in Jammu and Srinagar.
These properties include three residential houses, one at Gupkar Road, Srinagar, one at Tehsil Katipora, Tanmarg, and another at Bhatindi in Jammu, and commercial buildings at the Residency Road area of Srinagar, ED sources told the media.
Two immovable assets are residential, one is a commercial property while three other plots of land have also been attached by the Enforcement Directorate, they said.
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While the book value of these attached properties is ₹11.86 crore, their market value is about ₹60-70 crore, they added. The 83-year-old NC patron has been questioned by the ED in this case a number of times, the last being in October at Srinagar.
Reacting to the ED move, Farooq’s son and NC leader Omar Abdullah tweeted: “My father has seen the media reports regarding attachment of his properties in the ongoing investigation in to the JKCA matter. Not surprisingly the media was tipped off regarding the seizure before he had received any official notice or documentation”.
The financial probe agency had on October 19 questioned National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah in the case.
Abdullah was the president of the state cricket body between 2001 and 2011, when the alleged irregularities worth ₹113 crore reportedly took place.
The ED had questioned Abdullah in August 2019 as well, before the Centre scrapped the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370. At that time, Farooq Abdullah had told the investigation agency that he had “done no wrong” and was open to scrutiny.
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National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in October this year called the summons a “political vendetta”, coming days after the formation of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration.
The National Conference has called the investigation as a witch hunt and said the ED summons to Farooq Abdullah were clearly “the result of the unity that Dr Sahib has been able to forge among mainstream political parties in J&K”.