vijay goel, kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir's sports minister Imran Raza Ansari calls on Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel in New Delhi on June 8, 2017IANS

Former Jammu and Kashmir minister Imran Raza Ansari and his uncle Abid Hussain Ansari, who recently quit Mehbooba Mufti's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have been declared 'wilful defaulter' by Punjab National Bank for non-payment of a loan to the tune of Rs 32 crore.

A notification by PNB mentions them as the owners of 'Highland Automobiles Pvt Ltd' in Srinagar, which borrowed the loan.

The bank has now initiated recovery proceedings and has barred them from seeking financial assistance from any other bank.

The PNB in a series of notifications issued earlier had warned the Ansaris of handing over the mortgaged properties, which were shown at the time of loan availing.

The lawmaker and his family, however, have not handed over the mortgaged properties to the bank.

Imran Ansari was a minister in Mehbooba Mufti-led government in the state at that time.

Who are Ansaris?

One of the richest and influential political families in Srinagar, the Ansaris are also religious orators among the Shia Muslim circles in Kashmir.

Imran Ansari is the son of Maulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, who was a well-known Shia leader in the state and also a close aide of former J&K Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah.

Besides voicing the concerns of the Shia population in the state, the Ansaris have also expanded their real estate properties and other businesses in Jammu and Srinagar.

Recently, Imran Ansari along with his uncle Abid Ansari had announced their resignations from PDP after accusing Mehbooba Mufti of nepotism and preferring her family members over party interests.