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Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik arrested: I won't bow down, says Nawab Malik
Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik was on Wednesday arrested after questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case linked to the activities of the Mumbai underworld, fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.
Mumbai: Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik was on Wednesday arrested after questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case linked to the activities of the Mumbai underworld, fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim and his aides.
Malik was produced before a special court following over eight hours of questioning and subsequent arrest by the Enforcement Directorate. "I have been forcibly brought here. They should have sent summons first, but they picked me up from my house," he said when he was put in the witness box.
Defiantly waving his fist in the air to the waiting media persons while stepping out of the ED office, Malik said he won't bow down. "We will fight and win, and expose everyone," he said. He was then taken by ED officials in a vehicle to the state-run J J Hospital for a medical check-up. According to sources, 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.
Malik is the second Maharashtra minister to be arrested by the Central probe agency in four months. Former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh was arrested by the ED in November last year. After Malik's arrest, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has called for an emergency meeting of top party leaders at his residence.
On February 15, the ED had carried out raids at 10 locations, including premises linked to Dawood Ibrahim's late sister Haseena Parkar, brother Iqbal Kaskar and Salim Qureshi alias Salim Fruit, brother-in-law of gangster Chhota Shakeel.
The agency 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 has surfaced during the ongoing investigation.
The 62-year-old minister was taken to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office for questioning. ED officials reached there 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.
While Malik was being questioned, NCP workers protested near the party's headquarters, located close to the ED office in south Mumbai, and shouted slogans slamming the BJP-led Central government and the probe agency. "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 the BJP and all Central agencies," party spokesperson Sanjay Tatkare said.
Malik had recently made headlines for attacking the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede accusing him of several service-related wrongdoings after the anti-drugs officer led the raid on a cruise ship on Mumbai's shore in October last year and arrested 20 people including superstar Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan Khan. Malik's son-in-law Sameer Khan was also arrested in a drugs case by the NCB's Mumbai unit led by Wankhede last year.