Struggle For Special Status Restoration Will Continue: Farooq

KO Photo: Abid Bhat

Srinagar: After being questioned for several hours by the Enforcement Directorate on Monday in connection with a money laundering probe, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah said the resolve for restoration of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir will continue.

Talking to a media person after remaining inside the ED office for nearly seven hours, 82-year-old Abdullah said, “Remember one thing, we have a long way to go. This is a long fight”.

He further said, “Our struggle will go on whether Farooq Abdullah is alive or Farooq Abdullah is dead. Our resolve has not changed and our resolve will not change even if I were to be hanged”.

The former chief minister and ex-union minister said the struggle for restoration of the constitutional provision removed last year by the BJP-led government at the Centre was of all the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

“It is not Farooq Abdullah or the National Conference’s struggle alone. It is the struggle of all the people,” he added.

Several constituents of the newly formed People’s Alliance, comprising mainstream political parties from Jammu and Kashmir, described Abdullah being summoned by the ED as a “witch hunt” and political vendetta by the Centre.

He was summoned by the ED on Monday in connection with a case related to alleged irregularities in utilisation of funds given to the JK cricket association by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Asked about the nature of questioning, Abdullah said it’s an ongoing process and since the ED had to ask some more things after the previous round of questioning last year, he had made himself available.

“I am not worried, why are you worried? The only regret I have is that I could not have my lunch,” a visibly irritated Abdullah told reporters as soon as he came out of the ED office after his questioning.

Abdullah said the ED personnel had to do their job and he had to do his. “They were nice and very very good,” the NC president said.

Abdullah refused to comment on the proceedings, saying the matter will be decided in court.

“In the end, it has to be decided in the court when they put the papers in the court,” he said.

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