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Ahead of Sharad Pawar’s ED Appearance, Mumbai Police Reaches NCP Office; Large Gatherings Banned in Several Areas

 

Mumbai: Anticipating protests by NCP workers in Mumbai, the police have imposed prohibitory orders outside the Enforcement Directorate’s office at Ballard Pier and in other areas of south Mumbai in view of Sharad Pawar’s planned visit on Friday.

Joint CP Vinay Choubey and a team of police officers arrived at Pawar’s residence in the morning with a sniffer dog. “We are well equipped to take care of any eventuality. Section 144 is in place in the whole area. We have taken sufficient precautions,” DCP Sangram Singh Nishandar said.

Pawar, named in a money-laundering case by the ED in connection with a scam at Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, has said he will visit the ED office, even though it has not summoned him yet. NCP workers had staged protests in Mumbai on Thursday when the ED named Sharad Pawar in the case.

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.

“State NCP’s office is in the same are and there is a possibility that a large number of NCP supporters would gather during Pawar’s visit,” he said. A late-night communication from the police said that prohibitory orders have also been imposed under the jurisdictions of Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, Dongri, Azad Maidan, J J Marg and MRA Marg police stations.

Pawar has appealed party workers not to gather outside the ED office. “As mentioned during my press conference yesterday, I will be visiting the Mumbai ED office at Ballard Estate tomorrow, Friday 27 September, at 14.00 hrs. @MumbaiPolice @NCPspeaks,” Pawar tweeted earlier in the day. “I appeal to all my NCP cadre and supporters not to gather near the ED office premises,” he said.

Senior NCP leader and former minister Jitendra Awhad, however, rejected Pawar’s plea, saying “We are sorry, we won’t listen to you this time.”

(With PTI inputs)