The attached assets include a property at Gupkar Road, Srinagar, a property at Tehsil Katipora, Tanmarg, a property at Bhatindi in Jammu and one commercial property at Residency Road area of Srinagar.
The Enforcement Directorate has attached properties worth Rs 11.86 crore linked to National Conference patron and former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah in connection with the multi-crore Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association “scam”.
Sources say the attached assets include a property at Gupkar Road, Srinagar, a property at Tehsil Katipora, Tanmarg, a property at Bhatindi in Jammu and one commercial property at Residency Road area of Srinagar.
Earlier, the financial probe agency had questioned Farooq Abdullah in connection with alleged misappropriation of Rs 43 crore when Farooq Abdullah was the Chairperson of J&K Cricket Association.
The questioning was conducted based on bank documents, sources said. Officials said Farooq Abdullah’s statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The NC leader was questioned by the agency in 2019 and CBI in January 2018 in connection with his alleged involvement in the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association scam.
Farooq Abdullah’s son Omar Abdullah had then tweeted, “This is nothing less than political vendetta coming days after the formation of the People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration. To set the record straight no raids are being conducted at Dr Sahib’s residence.”
According to probe agency, the BCCI had given Rs 113 crore (approx) to Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association from 2002 to 2011 as a grant for the promotion of cricket in J&K. Of this, Rs.43.69 crore was allegedly siphoned off and misappropriated by the accused.
It is further alleged that during this period, the then president of Jammu & Kashmir Cricket Association connived with the treasurer of JKCA and others in undue siphoning off the funds and its misappropriation.
In 2015, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court handed over the investigation of the alleged scam to the CBI, while indicting the state police for failing to carry out the probe in which Farooq Abdullah was named.
In 2018, the CBI filed a chargesheet against four, including Farooq Abdullah, who was the president of the state cricket board over alleged misappropriation of funds amounting to Rs 43.69 crore by the accused office bearers.
Later, the ED initiated a money-laundering probe in connection with the JKCA scam.
Giving details of the properties attached, the ED in a statement said, “Among these attached properties the residence and land of Dr. Farooq Abdullah at Gupkar Road and commercial buildings at Residency Road, at prime upmarket locations, are state lands obtained on lease. The other attached house at Bhatindi, Village Sunjwan, (Jammu) had been constructed by Farooq Abdullah on state land and forest land, where he has also grabbed state land and forest land.”
“Between years 2006 to January 2012, when Dr. Farooq Abdullah was the president of JKCA, he misused his position and clout by illegal appointments of office bearer at JKCA to whom he gave financial powers for the purpose of laundering of JKCA Funds. Investigation also reveals that Dr. Farooq Abdullah was instrumental as well as beneficiary of the laundered funds of JKCA,” the ED said in its statement.
Meanwhile, reacting to the development, Farooq Abdullah’s son Omar Abdullah said the properties that have been attached are “largely ancestral”.
“The properties attached are largely ancestral dating from the 1970s with the most recent one built before 2003. There can be no justification for the seizures because they fail the very basic test of having been acquired as the proceeds of the ‘crime’ being investigated,” Omar Abdullah tweeted.
He added that his father is in touch with his lawyers and “will fight all these baseless charges” in a court of law.