Speaking to reporters in the wake of Malik’s questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case, Pawar said the NCP had anticipated such an action against party leader Malik since he “speaks openly”.
Malik’s office in a Twitter post on Wednesday said the ED officials came to minister’s residence here in the morning and accompanied him in his vehicle to the probe agency’s office.
Today morning the ED had come to @nawabmalikncp saheb's residence. They accompanied saheb in his vehicle to the ED office. Advocate Amir Malik, Saheb's son has accompanied saheb along with.
— Office of Nawab Malik (@OfficeofNM) February 23, 2022
The minister’s office also said he “won’t be afraid and won’t bow down”.
To a question on whether the action against Malik was being taken as he speaks against the Centre or the BJP, Pawar said, ”Which case have they dug up? It is simple. They take the name of Dawood, especially if there is a Muslim activist (against whom a case is dug up)…There is no relation (between the activist concerned and underworld), but it is done,” Pawar recalled that he too was “targeted similarly” in the early 90s when he was the chief minister of Maharashtra and an atmosphere was created against him. “Twenty-five years have passed since then. Similarly, names (of underworld) are being taken to defame people, trouble them and misuse the power…people who take positions against the Centre or the misuse of probe agencies are being troubled and this is what has happened here,” the NCP president said.
Meanwhile, Malik’s office in a tweet said, “Today morning the ED had come to @nawabmalikncp saheb’s residence. They accompanied saheb in his vehicle to the ED office. Advocate Amir Malik, Saheb’s son has accompanied saheb along with.” “Na darenge na jhukenge! (won’t be afraid, won’t bow down) Be ready for 2024!” the minister’s office said in another tweet, with the hashtag “we stand with Nawab Malik”.
The ED on Wednesday questioned Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister and NCP’s chief spokesperson Malik in a money laundering probe linked to the activities of the Mumbai underworld, fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides, officials said.
The 62-year-old NCP leader is stated to have arrived at the Enforcement Directorate office in south Mumbai’s Ballard Estate area around 8 AM and the agency is recording his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they added.
The minister had been in the news for the last few months after he made a number of personal and service-related allegations of wrongdoing against former Mumbai NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede. These charges came soon after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) conducted raids on a cruise in October last year and arrested 20 people including actor Shah Rukh Khan’s Aryan Khan.
Mal ik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan was also arrested in a drugs case by the NCB’s Mumbai unit last year.
The ED’s move comes after registration of a new case and raids conducted by it on February 15 in Mumbai in connection with the operations of the underworld, linked alleged illegal property deals and hawala transactions.