ED grills NCP (SP) MLA Rohit Pawar for 10 hrs, summons him again on Feb 1

Mumbai, Jan 25 (IANS): The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday grilled Nationalist Congress Party (NCP-SP) MLA Rohit R. Pawar for around 10 hours in connection with an alleged money-laundering case, before issuing him another summon for February 1.

Rohit R. Pawar, 38, the grand-nephew of NCP (SP) supremo Sharad Pawar, had stepped into the ED office in south Mumbai at around 10.30 a.m. on Wednesday.

A huge number of party activists from his constituency Karjat-Jamkhed (Ahmednagar), Pune and Mumbai gathered near the ED office where tight security was deployed to prevent any untoward incidents.

Amid intense speculation and uncertainty, Rohit Pawar was finally allowed to leave after a 10-hour grilling session.

All through the day, Pawar Sr., party's Working President Supriya Sule and other senior leaders maintained an anxious vigil at the NCP (SP) state headquarters just across the road.

After coming out, thousands of party workers greeted Rohit Pawar with loud cheers, claps and V-signs.

He took a mike to address the gathering, saying that he had fully cooperated with the ED team, answered all their questions, and cleared their doubts.

However, he said the ED has summoned him again on February 1 for the probe.

"The struggle is not yet over.... I have been summoned again on February 1. I shall come... I have nothing against the ED officials, they are only doing their duty, " said Rohit Pawar.

He also said that what is going on does not augur well for the country, but the fight must continue against injustice.

"This is a struggle for ‘satya’ and ultimately the truth will triumph,” Sule had said before her nephew entered the ED office for the probe.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) Leader of Opposition (Assembly), Ajay Choudhari, slammed the BJP for the blatant misuse of Central probe agencies against the Opposition parties and leaders.

Senior NCP (SP) leader Anil Deshmukh also flayed the ED and the government for deliberately hounding all the Opposition parties and their leaders.

Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aditya Thackeray said that there is no rule of law in the country and those who speak against the government are trapped in false cases, which is typical of an authoritarian regime.

“Are we in India or some place like Pakistan? We appeal to the judicial system to uphold the rule of the law,” urged Thackeray Jr.

His colleague and party MP Sanjay Raut slammed the central probe agency, saying “ED has become a branch of the BJP” which is targeting Opposition leaders in Maharashtra and other Opposition-ruled states in the country.

Sule referred to a report stating that around 95 per cent of all the ‘I.C.E.’ cases (IT-CBI-ED) are filed against the Opposition in the country, adding that this portends danger to democracy.

The CEO of Baramati Agro Ltd., Rohit Pawar, faces a Mumbai Police FIR dated August 2019 on purported money-laundering charges arising from the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam, and the ED’s allegations of illegal ‘diversion of funds’ to a company that bid to buy an ailing sugar cooperative factory.

However, he has consistently denied all the charges and claimed that there was no wrongdoings in the matters alleged by the police and the ED, which had raided the company recently.

The leaders of the Opposition MVA allies, Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT), have termed the ongoing action as ‘political vendetta and witch-hunt’ of the rivals by the government through misuse of central investigating agencies by the BJP.

The NCP (SP) has also alleged that Rohit Pawar is being targeted as he did not succumb to political pressure to support his uncle and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s breakaway NCP faction after the split in July 2023.

However, the NCP (AP) state President Sunil Tatkare and others have rubbished the charges, saying the agency may have found something incriminating in its probe, but he (Rohit Pawar) has nothing to fear if he has not committed any wrong.





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Title: ED grills NCP (SP) MLA Rohit Pawar for 10 hrs, summons him again on Feb 1

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