Former Maharashtra Minister and NCP leader Nawab Malik was very vocal against the misuse of central agencies. The NCB, then led by the former Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede, had arrested Nawab Malik’s son-in-law, Samir Khan, in January 2021, hurling the NCP leader and minister into controversy’s lap. Months later, when Shah Rukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan was arrested in the drugs-on-cruise case in October 2021, Nawab Malik made a series of verbal jabs against Sameer Wankhede, who was then heading the investigation of the case at the time.
After the war of words with Fadnavis, Malik claimed late in November 2021 that a conspiracy was underway to frame him in an ‘Anil Deshmukh-style fake case,’ allegedly at the ‘behest’ of some officials in central agencies. Nawab Malik brutally exposed Sameer Wankhede, and later on, even the court raised questions about Sameer Wandhede’s intentions in the Aryan Khan case. Some of the ACB officers claimed that the case against Khan was fake and was manipulated to extort money and grab overnight fame. In the name of investigations, many Bollywood actors were harassed and booked wrongfully. When Mallik madly went after Wankhede, the film fraternity got some respite.
There is another story making the rounds in the political corridors about the arrest of Mallik. Many believe that the arrest of Mallik was desired by Sharad Pawar himself because Mallik was growing larger than life in state politics. He became the face of Muslim leaders on an all-India level, and there is still a tendinous craze for him among Muslim organizations, Maulavis, and Mosques. Mallik has earned love and respect in these pockets. In Maharashtra, there is an internal conflict between the UP-born Muslim leadership and the Marathi Muslim leadership, the battle being linguistics and provincialism.
During his recent tenure, he became unstoppable. Nawab Malik, a five-time MLA, was the national spokesperson of Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which was a part of Maharashtra’s Shiv Sena-led government. He was the minister in charge of minority affairs.
Nawab is one of the most studious leaders, and his arguments in parliament had put the BJP and opposition in dizziness. Sharad Pawar has that typical backbiting tendency; he never wants any leader to grow beyond some limits. We have several examples to refer to, such as Vijay Singh Mohite Patil and Nawab Mallik Pawar, who sacrificed many good leaders for their own whims and fancies. We can give many such examples where Sharad Pawar played a culprit in spoiling the careers of his own leaders.
Well, Mallik’s arrest came after a passionate feud between the BJP and him. While the latter had accused Fadnavis of protecting Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) official Sameer Wankhede, the saffron party leader had ‘exposed’ Malik’s alleged mafia dealings. Talking to media persons, Malik claimed that he had acquired some emails and WhatsApp chats of officers of central probe agencies “instigating” people to lodge false complaints against him.
The Enforcement Directorate claims Nawab Malik grabbed property in Mumbai’s Kurla worth Rs 300 crore by paying just Rs 55 lakh in 2005, with the help of Dawood Ibrahim’s sister, Haseena Parkar, and two associates. The National Investigation Agency registered a case against Dawood Ibrahim and his associates for terror financing through hawala networks. There being no First Information Report in the land grab issue, the Enforcement Directorate took note of this case and initiated a money laundering probe.
The agency says a Dawood Ibrahim associate, Salim Patel, had taken control of the Kurla property from its original owners through a power of Attorney in 1999. One portion of this property was transferred to Nawab Malik and the other to Haseena Parkar. Later, in 2005, Nawab Malik paid Rs 55 lakh to Dawood Ibrahim’s sister and bought the entire property, which is how he aided in the financing of Dawood Ibrahim’s gang, the agency claims.
Nawab Malik told the Bombay High Court that he has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for a transaction that is 22 years old, by retrospective application of provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The agency had searched Nawab Malik’s residence briefly before taking him to its south Mumbai office. The minister was arrested after over five hours of questioning.
We know that the judicial procedures take time, and Mallik has to go through the hell he invited for himself. After repeated appeals, the Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail for two months to Malik on medical grounds. The Bombay High Court had previously rejected a plea by Malik seeking bail on health grounds. Malik had sought relief from the HC, claiming he was suffering from a chronic kidney disease, apart from various other ailments. Mallik has three options: wait for his jail term to finish, come clean in all the cases registered against him, or join the BJP holding the hand of Ajit Pawar and seek salvation.
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