Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Rohit Pawar came out after a 12-hour session of questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday. He stated that he answered all the questions posed by the ED in connection with the money laundering probe linked to the sale of Kannad Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (SSK) to Baramati Agro.
He has been called again on February 1
After coming out from the ED office, Rohit Pawar addressed the party workers, stating, "Officers are doing their duties; they are following orders. Agencies are under pressure from the government. I am cooperating with the agency, as I have in the past and will continue to do so in the future. ED has called me again on 1st February. Today, they questioned me, and I replied honestly. They need some documents and want to ask me more questions related to the case. I will join the investigation on 1st February also. I have done nothing wrong and am not involved in any fraud." He wholeheartedly thanked everyone who waited there for the whole day, asserting, "We have decided not to bend in front of anyone, and I am going to follow the same," he said after his release.
I have worked honestly in my business, and only then joined politics. Just because I am cooperating with the probe does not mean I will tolerate unjust actions against us or our workers," he added
ED officials recorded the statment of Rohit Pawar regarding the activities of his company, Baramati Agro, which is purportedly associated with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam.
On Wednesday, prior to heading to the ED office, Rohit pawar visited Sharad Pawar at the NCP office located a few hundred meters from the agency. He sought blessings from Sharad Pawar and touched Supriya Sule's feet, uttering "Satyameva Jayate." Sule accompanied him to the ED office.
Speaking to media outside ED office Sule said,----The data of the goverment presented in the parliament itself says that 95% cases of central agencies which includes, ED, income tax, CBI are against the opposition parties and there is nothing more I can comment and we have nothing to hide and we will cooperate with the agency and we have faith in ED that they will hear him as well.
While the ED was questioning junior Pawar, approximately 200-300 NCP workers assembled outside the ED office. However, the police intervened, allowing them to protest only outside the NCP office. Some workers turned aggressive and attempted to break the barricades, resulting in the detention of five workers.
Sharad Pawar remained in the NCP party office until the ED's interrogation of Rohit Pawar was completed. Meanwhile, Supriya Sule maintained her unwavering presence at the ED office and remained there till Rohit's return.
The case and allegations on junior Pawar
Rohit Pawar serves as the CEO of Baramati Agro Limited. Earlier this month, the agency conducted raids, including two offices of Baramati Agro in Pimpri Chinchwad, Pune. Additionally, searches were carried out at the premises of Kannad Sugar Mill in Sambhaji Nagar, the premises of Hitech Engineering Corporation, and locations associated with Rajesh Ingavle, the director of Hi-tech Engineering Corporation India Ltd., as well as the premises of Sanjay Awate, also from the same company. Furthermore, the premises of another firm, Samruddhi Sugar Mill, underwent investigation. .The investigation is part of the probe into the sale of Kannad Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (SSK) to Baramati Agro.
The money laundering investigation into Pawar's firm Baramati agro is related to charges of "diversion" of cash and the deposit of earnest payments by a company that bid on the purchase of an ailing Maharashtra-based cooperative sugar factory (CSF) Kannada Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (SSK).
ED has found several irregularities in the sale of SSK
According to the official sources-during the investigation ED has found several irregularities in the sale of Kannada Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (SSK).Agency suspect that Baramati Agro connived with Hitech to bid for Kannada SSK and manipulated the auction process to wrongfully win the bid.Alongside with Baramati Agro, two other companies, including Hitech Engg. Corporation India Ltd and Samruddhi sugar private limited took part in the auction proceedings. Upon examining the bank accounts, it was discovered that on August 25, 2012, Hitech Engg. received an amount of Rs. 5 crores from Baramati Agro Ltd. Two days later, this sum was utilized by the firm as Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) to participate in the auction for the sale of the Kannad SSK in question.
The said factory was taken over by Baramati Agro at ₹50 crores which is significantly undervalued price and suspected to be a result of a manipulated auction under the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank, suspects the anti- money laundering agency.
The MSCB scam case relates to loans given to sugar factories
The MSCB scam case relates to loans given to sugar factories allegedly without following procedure by officials of the MSCB even after they turned into Non-Performing Assets and their subsequent sale to kin of the accused below market value.