Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren appeared before the Enforcement Directorate in Ranchi in an illegal mining case. The Enforcement Directorate had issued fresh summons to Soren to appear for questioning after he failed appear on November 3 citing official engagements. He had then sought a three-week deferment of the summons.
Addressing media persons, the CM claimed that he was a victim of a conspiracy by the opposition. “The agency should level allegations only after a detailed investigation into the matter,” he said. Soren, talking to reporters, said, “If we calculate the yearly revenue from mines and minerals, it would not touch Rs 1000 crore. I am going to ED office and want to see how they arrived at that figure,” he told reporters.
Earlier in the day, JMM supporters and party workers gathered outside the CM residence in Ranchi.
The ED has arrested Soren’s political aide Pankaj Mishra and two others — local muscleman Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash — in this case. The agency has said it has “identified” proceeds of crime relating to illegal mining in the state to the tune of more than Rs 1,000 crore till now.
After the first summons was issued, Soren had dared the agency to arrest him. “The ED has summoned me following a conspiracy. Come and arrest me if I have committed a crime instead of sending summonses for questioning. I am neither afraid nor worried. Rather I am emerging stronger. If people of Jharkhand wish, opponents will not find a place to hide,” he had said.