Pawar drops plan to visit ED office after meeting Mumbai police commissioner
NCP chief Sharad Pawar, named in a money-laundering case by the ED in connection with a scam at Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, on Friday said he won't be going to the agency's office later in the day as announced by him earlier this week.
Pawar's decision came after Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Barve met him at his residence and requested him not to visit the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office as it may create a law and order situation.
Pawar had announced that he would visit the ED office at 2 pm, even though the agency has not summoned him yet.
Talking to reporters, Pawar thanked the Shiv Sena and Congress for backing him on the ED action issue, adding that the agency's action gave an impression that opposition leaders were being targeted.
Earlier in the day, police imposed prohibitory orders outside the ED office ahead of Pawar's planned visit to the agency office.
NCP workers had staged protests across Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra when ED named Pawar in the case earlier this week.
Anticipating similar protests on Friday, orders prohibiting movement of groups of people under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was imposed outside the ED office, a police official said on Thursday night.
The ED has filed the money-laundering case against Pawar, his nephew and former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, and others in connection with the scam.
The veteran leader has been maintaining he was not associated with the bank in any capacity and questioned the timing of the registration of the case, which comes just weeks ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls in Maharashtra.
An Enforcement case information report, equivalent to a police FIR, has been registered by the central agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.
The case is based on a Mumbai police FIR, which had named former chairman of the bank, Ajit Pawar, and 70 erstwhile functionaries of the cooperative lender.