Senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday in connection with a money laundering case which also involved underworld mafia Dawood Ibrahim.
ED grilled Malik in connection with the case for around eight hours on 23 February after which he was arrested for not giving proper information. He was taken to JJ Hospital for medical examination and is currently being produced before a special court in Mumbai.
Malik, while stepping out of the ED office after questioning, raised the slogans “Ladenge, jeetenge, sab ko expose karenge. (Will fight, win and expose everyone)”
The agency reached Malik’s Kurla residence and took him to the agency’s office in Mumbai.
Malik told the PMLA court that “ED officials came to my house early morning, took me to the ED office, detained me and later, recorded my statement. They gave me summon copy at the ED office and asked me to sign it.”
Malik was found to be guilty of an offence punishable under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 according to an arrest order issued by ED Assistant Director Niraj Kumar.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed an FIR against the company of Dawood Ibrahim, D Company. Based on the FIR registered, the Enforcement Directorate filed a case under the PMLA and Unlawful Prevention Act (UAPA).
According to the case filed by the ED, the Kurla property deal of Malik and Dawood involves a ₹80 lakh payment by Nawab Malik to Haseena Parkar, sister of the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, out of this ₹80 lakh, around ₹25 lakh was paid through a cheque and ₹55 lakh in cash to acquire a 3 acre land in Kurla.
The land belonged to one Munira Plumber and was bought by Malik through a forged power of attorney. All the power to sell the land was given to Parkar’s driver and bodyguard Salim Patel claimed ED.
NCP Chief Sharad Pawar questioned the agency for arresting and “harassing” Malik to speak the truth.
“Nawab Malik has been very outspoken and we were sure that some issues will be raked up by them to trouble him. If there is a Muslim activist who is their opponent, it is their habit to link his name to Dawood. When I was the CM of Maharashtra, they had tried to link my name with Dawood as well. This is an attempt to harass those who are speaking against the misuse of central agencies. Those who express their views against the BJP government, those who speak the truth, are being harassed.”
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut objected to the way a senior leader and Maharashtra’s cabinet minister was taken away from his home by the ED without any prior notice.
“All these Investigations are being undertaken with a vengeful thought against Maharashtra in mind. Rest will be decided in the court on the basis of what evidence you have and what evidence has been manufactured.”
He added, “the way in which he was taken from his home by the ED is a challenge to Maharashtra government. A minister is taken away by central agencies by coming to our state. After 2024, you’ll (BJP) be probed too.”
NCP Chief of Maharashtra, Jayant Patil claimed that the BJP government was taking ‘revenge’ by arresting Malik.
“Nawab Malik has been taken to the ED office for questioning, without prior information. He had exposed BJP leaders in the past few days, so revenge is being taken now. This is yet another instance of misuse of powers. No notice was given to him. The ED, by picking up a minister of a State early in the morning without giving any prior notice, has flouted all the laid down rules.”
The members of the BJP government demanded resignation of Malik from his post.
The members of NCP protested outside the ED office against the arrest of Nawab Malik, they said that this shows the “vengeful nature of the ED action against state minorities minister.”