A team of Enforcement Directorate officials visited the Delhi home of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in connection with a money laundering investigation in an alleged land fraud case, reported news agency PTI.
According to PTI’s official sources, the visit can be linked to his fresh desposition in the land fraud case for which he was questioned by ED at his official residence in Ranchi on January 20.
The agency had also issued fresh summons to Soren last week to confirm his availability for questioning on January 29 or January 31. The agency has called in the Jharkhand CM to inquire about a huge racket of illegal changes of land ownership by the mafia in Jharkhand, PTI reported.
Shortly after the ED issued him fresh summons to join the invesigation, the chief minister went on an unplanned visit to the national capital on Saturday night. This trip sparked speculation as it came after ED asked him for his availability for questioning.
ED had recorded the chief minister Soren’s statement on January 20 at his official residence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The central agency issued fresh summons as the questioning was not completed that day, PTI reported.
According to ED, 14 people have been arrested so far in the land fraud case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan, director of the state’s Social Welfare Department, and deputy commissioner of Ranchi.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Soren’s Jharkhand Murti Morcha (JMM) party workers staged protests against the fresh summons issued by the ED. They gathered in the Morabadi Grounds from Ranchi, Latehar, Gumla, and Lohardaga and took out a protest march to the Raj Bhavan.
The protestors alleged that it was BJP’s plan to destabilise Jharkhand’s democratically elected government and that it was misusing the state and central agencies like ED and CBI for it, PTI reported.