In a 12-year-old J&K Bank building scam case, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday questioned former Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir Omar Abdullah for five hours in New Delhi. Former Chief Minister and National Conference leader arrived at the Enforcement Directorate's headquarters at 11 am on Thursday where his statement was recorded.

The case was related to the purchase of a building by the J&K Bank in Bandra Kurla in 2010 when Omar Abdullah was chief minister. The former finance minister of the erstwhile state of J&K Dr. Haseeb Drabu was the chairman of the Bank at that time.

As per the FIR registered in this case, it was alleged that the Bank had approved the purchase of a 42,000-square foot property for Rs 109 crore, but eventually, the committee and the then board of the financial institution approved the purchase of 65,000 square feet of property at a cost of Rs 172 crore.

J&K Bank
J&K Bank

As per the case, a two-member committee headed by Drabu was formed to look for a building in Mumbai, and based on their recommendation, the building, which is the biggest asset of the bank as of date, was cleared for purchase.

I am cooperating with the agency: Omar

Quoting Omar Abdullah, a news agency reported that emerging from the ED office, the former Chief Minister said he was not an accused in the case.

Omar further said that ED called him for questioning in connection with an ongoing investigation in a nearly 12-year-old case. "I answered them as much as I could. I will further help them if they need me. They did not accuse me of anything," the agency quoting Omar Abdullah said.

The National Conference (NC) termed the move a "vicious vilification" campaign by the Centre and an attempt by the government to silence the voice of its opposition ahead of a possible announcement of the elections to the union territory.

Omar Abdullah
National Conference leader Abdullah had earlier on Sunday night expressed apprehension that he was going to be placed under house arrest.IANS

NC condemns ED questioning Omar

The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference condemned the action of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to summon Omar Abdullah describing the move as a "witch-hunt" and "vengeance".

In a joint statement issued all senior leaders of the party condemned the "undue witch-hunt and intimidation" of all contrarian voices critical of the government saying the motive behind the ED summons is to deter Omar Abdullah from shouldering people's predicaments.

"The incumbent ruling dispensation in New Delhi is employing the government machinery and malevolent tactics to subdue NC leadership's effort in forging unity among different mainstream political parties of Jammu and Kashmir", reads the statement.

"This government is doing everything it can to silence the combined voice of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The tactics are being employed across the board in the country to stifle the voices of dissent by using all spiteful measures, the party will not get subdued by such tactics," the statement said.