Maharashtra State Ministers Protest Against Nawab Malik Arrest For 'Money Laundering'

Nawab Malik  - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.02.2022
Maharashtra State Minister and Member of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Nawab Malik was arrested on Wednesday by a central inquiry agency investigating a money-laundering case.
Several lawmakers and ministers in India's state of Maharashtra on Thursday held a protest near the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Mantralaya to show their solidarity with arrested fellow minister Nawab Malik.
Malik is the state's minister for Minority Development, Aukaf, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.
Those protesting included several state ministers, including Maharashtra's deputy chief Ajit Pawar; home minister, Dilip Walse-Patil; health minister, Rajesh Tope; revenue minister, Vijay Bausaheb Thorat; water resources minister, Jayant Rajaram Patil; housing minister, Jitendra Awhad; food and civil supplies minister, Chhagan Chandrakant Bhujbal; relief and rehabilitation minister, Vijay Namvedrao Wadettiwar; minister of state for home, Satej Patil; minister of state for tourism, Aditi Sunil Tatkare; NCP parliamentarian, Supriya Sule; and chairwoman of the state women's commission, Rupali Chakankar.
At present the state is run by the 'Maha Vikas Aghadi' (MVA) coalition of the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party, and the Congress party and the federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the main opposition.

Why Was Nawab Malik Arrested?

Malik was arrested on Wednesday in a money-laundering case involving global terrorist and fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar. He had been investigated by a special financial agency operating under the Department of Revenue, which is part of the federal Ministry of Finance -- Enforcement Directorate (ED).
The investigation agency alleges that Malik is actively involved in funding terrorist activities. It has been claimed that Malik sold property to family of the fugitive gangster for much less than the market price in 2005.

"This is nothing but a successful attempt for financially strengthening the terror network of Dawood Ibrahim in India," ED sources told The Times of India.

Political Parties Allegation

Meanwhile, the main opposition party, the BJP, is demanding that Malik resign from the Maharashtra sate cabinet but the ruling alliance has dismissed the call.
"The BJP is trying to tarnish Malik by linking his name with Dawood Ibrahim. It is particularly easy [for the BJP] to influence people's opinion when a Muslim party activist is smeared with the 'Dawood Ibrahim' taint," Bhujbal said.
The ruling alliance has announced it will hold a demonstration throughout the state from 25 February onward.
Support for Malik has extended beyond the state's boundaries as West Bengal state chief, Mamata Banerjee and Uttar Pradesh's former state chiefs — Samajwadi Party head, Akhilesh Yadav, and Bahujan Samaj Party leader, Mayawati -- expressed their confidence in him and lambasted the BJP-led federal government for allegedly misusing its power "in the name of terrorism".
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