ED officials visit Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s Delhi House in money laundering case: Officials

ED officials visited Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren's house in Delhi for money laundering case probe on january 29

Livemint
Updated29 Jan 2024
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren(HT_PRINT)

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren made an impromptu trip to Delhi in response to a fresh summons from the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which requested his participation in an ongoing money laundering investigation, on January 29.

Soren's unanticipated visit to the national capital on Saturday night sparked speculations regarding its purpose.

This development coincided with the ED asking Soren to make himself available for questioning on either January 29 or January 31.

"The visit was not planned. The sudden plan was made after the issuance of a fresh summons by the ED. He has his scheduled events lined up, including a programme in Chaibasa on January 29, in Palamu on January 30, and in Giridih on January 31," explained an anonymous official, as quoted by PTI.

While a source indicated that Soren went to Delhi for legal consultations, this information could not be verified by the Chief Minister's Office.

The ED had previously recorded the chief minister's statement on January 20 at his official residence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The issuance of fresh summons suggests that the questioning was not completed on that day.

The investigation revolves around an alleged "huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia" in Jharkhand, according to the agency.

In connection with this case, the ED has already arrested 14 individuals, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan, who served as the director of the state's Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi.

Meanwhile, Soren's political party, JMM, staged protests against the ED's fresh summons. Hundreds of JMM workers gathered at Morabadi Grounds in Ranchi, expressing concerns about a perceived conspiracy by the BJP to destabilize the democratically elected government in the state. They accused central agencies like the ED and CBI of being misused for political ends.

(With Inputs from PTI)

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