J&K: Enforcement Directorate summons Mehbooba Mufti’s mother
The Delimitation Commission’s first trip to Jammu and Kashmir after Narendra Modi’s all-party meeting with Valley leaders began on a controversial note after the Enforcement Directorate summoned PDP president Mehbooba Mufti’s mother in a money-laundering case and the former chief minister linked the move to her refusal to meet the visiting delegation.
Fissures appeared in the five-party People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration fighting for the restoration of Article 370 after Mehbooba’s PDP and the Awami National Conference chose to boycott the commission, alleging that it lacks “constitutional and legal mandate” and that it has been set up to help the BJP realise its “political vision” in Jammu and Kashmir. It is widely believed in Kashmir that the BJP wants to install a Hindu chief minister in Jammu and Kashmir by granting more seats to its Hindu majority areas despite the community constituting only 25 per cent of the population.
The Farooq Abdullah-led National Conference, the CPM and two other constituents of the alliance met the members of the commission, although they said they were committed to their goal of seeking the reversal of the August 5, 2019, moves to strip Jammu and Kashmir of its special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
While the commission’s meeting with party representatives was under way at a highly secured hotel on the banks of the Dal Lake, Mehbooba tweeted that the ED had summoned her mother, Gulshan Nazir, to appear before it on July 14.
“On a day PDP chose not to meet Delimitation Commission, ED sent a summons to my mother to appear in person for unknown charges. In its attempts to intimidate political opponents, GOI doesn’t even spare senior citizens. Agencies like NIA & ED are now its tools to settle scores,” Mehbooba tweeted.
The ED letter Gulshan has received states that she has been called for an investigation under provisions of the Money Laundering Act, 2002. The letter has been signed by Sunil Kumar Meena, assistant director of ED.
Earlier in the day, the PDP shot off a letter to the Delimitation Commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, claiming that the panel “lacks constitutional and legal mandate in the first place and its very existence and objectives have left every ordinary resident of J&K with many questions”.
“There are apprehensions that the delimitation exercise is part of the overall process of political disempowerment of the people of J&K that the Government of India has embarked on. At the very core of these apprehensions is the process through which the commission has been constituted and the fact that while the delimitation process across the country has been put on hold till 2026, J&K has been made an exception,” the letter added.