After questioning, the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday arrested Maharashtra Minister Nawab Malik in money laundering case linked with most wanted fugitive terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. He will have to be in custody till March 3.
Following eight hours of questioning the ED had presented him in a witness box at special court where he said, “I have been forcibly brought here. They should have sent summons first but they picked me up from my house”.
After stepping out of the ED he waved hands to the waiting media personnel outside the agency and said that he will not now down. “We will fight and win, and expose everyone,” he said. The agency officials then took him to a state-run J J Hospital for his medical check-up.
The sources said that, during the questioning it was found out that Mr Malik was involved in alleged transactions with Dawood’s associates and land deals with them. He was avoiding cooperation with the investigation, said ED.
Meanwhile, amid questions over his resignation Maharashtra Minister Chhagan Bhujbal said, “In the last 30 years, no one took name of Nawab Malik in connection with the Mumbai blast. But now he is speaking against Union government, hence to shut his mouth, he was arrested today”. He even said that Mr Malik will not resign.
He further said, a peaceful protest will also take place tomorrow near Mahatma Gandhi Memorial in front of the Mantralaya.
Mr Malik is the second Maharashtra Minister to be arrested in a money laundering case by the Enforcement Directorate in four months. The first minister to be arrested by the agency was former Home Minister Anil Deshmukh. He was arrested in November last year.
After ED arrested Mr Malik, Nationalist Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar convened an emergency meeting between top leaders at his residence.