The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to question Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in the land scam case at his official residence in Ranchi today. ED teams entered the CM house at 1 pm on January 20.
Meanwhile, security has been heightened outside CM Soren’s official residence and several areas in Ranchi. “Heavy forces have been deployed in several areas in Ranchi. No citizen has the right to take laws into their hands. Senior officers have been deployed at different places. All the safety parameters have been kept in mind,” said Rajkumar Mehta, Superintendent of Police, Ranchi.
Several workers of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) gathered at the Chief Minister’s residence and raised slogans against the ED probe. Earlier this month, CM Hemant Soren wrote to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) stating that it could record his statement in the land scam case at his official residence on January 20.
ED had issued Soren the eighth summons on January 20, asking him to join the investigation between January 16 to 20.
ED had previously issued a summons to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s press advisor, Abhishek Prasad to join its investigation on January 16 into an alleged money laundering probe linked to an illegal mining case.
The central agency concluded its day-long search of Soren’s media advisor Abhishek Prasad’s residence in Ranchi late on January 3.
The Chief Minister was issued a ‘last opportunity’ by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) to record his statement on an alleged land scam days ago. Soren, in turn, replied to the agency, labelling the summons as ‘illegal.’
“Since you have not come to the office of the Directorate of Enforcement in obedience to the summonses issued to you, we are giving you this last opportunity to record your statement under section 50 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, at the place, date and time, mutually convenient to you as well as the undersigned (ED), which should be within 7 days of receipt of this notice/Summons,” said the ED in its summons.
Soren was summoned by the ED earlier in mid-August, 2023, in connection with a land ‘scam’ case.
However, the CM ignored the summons, claiming that he was busy with the State’s Independence Day celebrations. He was asked again to appear on August 24 and September 9 but he skipped the dates, citing preoccupations. The agency then issued its fourth summons to the Jharkhand CM, asking him to report to the agency on September 23.
In his letter to the agency, Soren said he had provided all necessary documents and information to the ED. He wrote that if the ED needed any information, it could refer to the documents that he had already shared with the agency.
(with inputs from ANI)