NCP chief Sharad Pawar has said that he will not visit the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office on Friday, keeping the law and order situation in mind. He had earlier stated that he had done nothing wrong and would visit the agency's office. Police imposed prohibitory orders outside the ED's office anticipating a law and order situation.
Pawar, named in a money-laundering case by the ED in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, has not received any summon from the agency so far. The leader said that the Commissioner of Police and Joint CP requested him to not visit the ED office keeping in mind the law and order situation. "Commissioner of Police and Joint CP met me today and requested me not to go so that the law and order situation remains under control," said Sharad Pawar.
A large number of police personnel have been deployed and roads leading to the ED office at Ballard Pier of South Mumbai have been closed in view of Pawar's visit, police said on Friday morning.
"Honourable Pawar saheb will visit ED office at 2 pm. Workers will be present in big number in his support. But the police started detaining workers since yesterday night. We are people who believe in law and order. This suppression is not right. Condemnation!" NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik had tweeted earlier.
NCP workers had staged protests in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra when the ED named Pawar in the case earlier this week. Anticipating similar protests on Friday, orders prohibiting movement of groups of people under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure have been imposed outside the ED office, a police official said on Thursday night.
A communication from the police said prohibitory orders have also been imposed under the jurisdictions of Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, Dongri, Azad Maidan, JJ Marg and MRA Marg police stations in South Mumbai.
Pawar had appealed to party workers not to gather outside the ED office.
The NCP leader said that he was not associated with the bank in any capacity. He also questioned the timing of the case which comes weeks ahead of the Assembly polls in Maharashtra on October 21.
An Enforcement Case Information Report, equivalent to a police FIR, has been registered by the central agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The case is based on a Mumbai Police FIR which had named former chairmen of the bank, Ajit Pawar, and 70 erstwhile functionaries of the cooperative lender.
(With PTI inputs)