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Mehbooba questioned by Enforcement Directorate, says ‘dissent criminalised’

Speaking to reporters after coming out of the ED office, Mufti said “dissent has been criminalised” and accused the BJP of running the country as per its own agenda.

Written by Bashaarat Masood | Srinagar |
Updated: March 26, 2021 3:49:12 am
Mehbooba mufti, Pakistan india dialogue, Jammu and Kashmir, Narendra Modi, SAARC sumit, indian express newsPDP president Mehbooba Mufti. (Express File)

DAYS AFTER the Delhi High Court refused to stay the summons issued against her by the Enforcement Directorate, former chief minister and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti appeared before the central agency at its Srinagar office on Thursday. She was questioned for almost five hours.

Speaking to reporters after coming out of the ED office, Mufti said “dissent has been criminalised” and accused the BJP of running the country as per its own agenda. “The country at present is not being run under the Constitution of India but as per the agenda of a particular party wherein one cannot talk or is allowed to open mouth,” she said.

“Inside [the ED office], I was questioned. There were two issues. One, they asked me about the land that was in name of Mufti [Mohammad Sayeed] sahib… [They asked] how did we sell it, to whom we sold it and how much money did it fetch. And second, if we have spent money on youth engagement, what happened of that and how,” she said.

“In short, it doesn’t need rocket science [to understand] that dissent has been criminalised in this country. This country is being ruled by CBI or ED or NIA. Either you are being charged for sedition or a money laundering case is registered against you,” she added.

Mufti said she was also asked about the chief minister’s secret fund and asked who were the beneficiary widows of that fund.

Mufti said her hands are clean and she has nothing to hide. “This perhaps is the reason that it took them [ED] two years to find out anything and now they are asking questions about land and graveyard of my father.”

She said the questioning will not deter her or her party. “I and my party, the PDP, will continue work on our agenda and will continue to seek resolution of the Kashmir issue,” she said.

The former chief minister had been summoned by the ED in New Delhi in an alleged money laundering case. She approached the Delhi High Court against the summons but the court refused to grant stay following which she appeared before the agency.

While Mufti said she couldn’t appear before the ED in Delhi on Monday because of prior committments, she later requested that she be questioned at the Srinagar office.

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