Maharashtra Minority Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik has been arrested on Wednesday by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case linked to Dawood Ibrahim and the underworld.
Moments after his arrest, Malik said, “Have been arrested, but won’t be scared. We will fight and win.” He was then taken by ED officials in a vehicle for a medical check-up.
According to sources, Mr Malik was grilled over alleged transactions with gangster Dawood’s associates and land deals with them. He was evasive and didn’t cooperate with the investigation, the ED said.
Recently, the ED had carried out a series of raids and also took custody of Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar in the same case. According to sources, some evidence related to property purchased by Nawab Malik had surfaced during the investigation.
The ED officials reached the NCP leader’s home at 6 am where he was questioned for an hour. He was then brought to the ED office and questioned again for close to eight hours.
NCP workers protested near the party’s headquarters, that is located close to the ED office. They shouted slogans slamming the BJP-led central government and the probe agency.
The workers then headed towards the ED’s office, but were stopped mid-way. The protesters then did a dharna pradarshan.
NCP spokesperson Sanjay Tatkare said, “The protest is against the unjust questioning of Nawab Malik as he was exposing the BJP+NCB+CBI+ED nexus on a daily basis. We will not be cowed down. NCP will keep exposing BJP and all central agencies,”
Mr Malik had been attacking Sameer Wankhede, the Narcotics Control Bureau Zonal Director for some time now and had accused him of several wrongdoings. This included the raid on a cruise ship in October last year and the arrest of 20 people including superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan.
Mr Malik’s son-in-law Sameer Khan was also arrested by the NCB in Mumbai last year.
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut and NCP chief Sharad Pawar have accused the central agencies of being politically motivated and claimed that the BJP was using the agency to target opposition.
The BJP has rubbished allegations of political vendetta and accused Mr Malik of buying land from gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s aide.