The questioning was focused on Abdullah’s links with ex-J&K Bank director
The ED questioned Omar Abdullah in connection with a Prevention of Money Laundering case pertaining to alleged irregularities in sanctioning loans by Jammu and Kashmir Bank. As per sources, Abdullah was questioned after the arrest of ex-J&K Bank director Nihal Garware. Sources revealed that the former J&K CM has been staying in Garware’s house in Delhi for many years.
The line of questioning focused on Abdullah’s links with Garware and the loans granted during his tenure as the Chief Minister which turned out to be bogus. Incidentally, PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti also levelled allegations against Garware in 2012 when he was on the Board of Directors of the J&K Bank.
The ED case is on the basis of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)’s case in which the probe agency accused Mushtaq Ahmad Shaikh, the former chairman of J&K bank, and others of wrongdoings.
The J&K Bank has been under probe since 2019 for alleged irregularities in disbursal of loans, nepotism in appointments, and functioning of the Bank. Multiple FIRs against the bank and its office bearers were filed by the Anti-Corruption Bureau of Jammu and Kashmir in the year when the Centre on August 5 announced the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the state into two Union Territories.
It was alleged that in 2010 the management of J&K Bank bought a property in Mumbai’s Bandra Kurla from Akruti Gold Builders allegedly at an exorbitant price of Rs.180 crore. The CBI had said that it was a well-planned conspiracy by the accused. On the basis of this, the CBI in 2021 filed a case against the management of the bank and its chairman.
Based on these FIRs, the ED registered a case of money laundering the same year. The agency has earlier also summoned PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti in connection with the case.
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