SRINAGAR: Former Jammu and Kashmir minister Choudhary Lal Singh appeared before the Enforcement Directorate on Monday for questioning in connection with a case involving an educational trust run by his wife and former legislator Kanta Andotra, media reports said.
A group of Singh’s supporters, led by Andotra, congregated outside the agency’s premises to protest against the ED’s summoning of their leader. They asserted that Singh is innocent and claimed that he is being singled out on behalf of the BJP.
Singh, who is also the chairman of the Dogra Swabhiman Sangathan Party, arrived at the Narwal office of the agency at 10 am for his second round of questioning in three days, according to sources. He was previously interrogated by ED officials on Saturday.
Following his release on Saturday, the former minister alleged that he has been targeted by a political witch-hunt and entangled in unwanted cases due to pressure from political figures.
Last week, the Enforcement Directorate conducted searches in Jammu and the surrounding areas as part of a money laundering investigation related to the educational trust associated with Andotra and a former government official. This inquiry is connected to alleged irregularities in land acquisitions for the trust.
The money laundering case is based on a charge sheet submitted by the CBI in October 2021, which alleged misconduct in land allocation in 2011. The CBI charge sheet contended that the trust had acquired multiple parcels of land without adhering to the legal limits imposed under the Jammu and Kashmir Agrarian Reforms Act, 1976.
While Lal Singh was being questioned on Monday, his supporters staged a protest outside the ED office, vocally backing him and voicing their grievances against the BJP.
Andotra said, “This is solely a political vendetta by the BJP-led central government, which employs federal agencies against its adversaries to intimidate and discredit them. They lack any substantial evidence against us, and we will not yield to the BJP’s tactics.”
“We are committed to strengthening democracy and safeguarding Jammu’s interests. We will not be cowed by such actions,” she added, emphasising the BJP’s alleged desire to imprison her husband.