Land Scam Case: Hemant Soren Likely To Be Arrested By ED Shortly; Sec 144 Imposed Around CM Residence, Raj Bhavan

Land Scam Case: Hemant Soren Likely To Be Arrested By ED Shortly; Sec 144 Imposed Around CM Residence, Raj Bhavan

Soren's arrest may come after hours of questioning by the central agency at his Ranchi residence.

Tejas JoshiUpdated: Wednesday, January 31, 2024, 07:18 PM IST
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PTI

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren is likely to be arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday in relation to the alleged land scam. Soren's arrest may come after hours of questioning by the central agency at his Ranchi residence.

Reports indicate that Section 144 has been imposed outside both the CM residence and Raj Bhavan. Senior police officials are currently stationed at the CM house, heightening the likelihood of Soren's arrest.

Earlier in the day, the agency questioned the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader, after he missed several summons issued by the ED. There is a strong buzz that Soren could face arrest by Wednesday evening, prompting his party to prepare for that possibility.

What are the allegations?

Soren could be the 15th person to be arrested by the ED in this case. The ED has arrested 14 people in the case so far. The agency is investigating charges that a 7.16 acre parcel of land near Ranchi was acquired through the proceeds of crime involving the illegal sale of land belonging to the defence forces.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is investigating a case involving a "large-scale racket of illicit transfer of land ownership by criminal syndicates" in Jharkhand, as stated by the central investigative agency. Hemant Soren is under scrutiny for allegations of money laundering, which allegedly involved the fabrication of documents to procure "extensive land holdings" valued at millions of rupees.

Soren, however, has dismissed the allegations as “politically motivated”, saying that the details of his assets are public.

ED operation at Soren's Delhi home

The operation conducted by the agency at the residence of the Jharkhand chief minister in Delhi became dramatic on Monday when ED officials arrived in the morning to question him but found him absent. They confiscated ₹ 36 lakh in cash and a BMW X7, valued at over ₹ 1 crore. In his complaint lodged on Wednesday, Soren stated that he is not the owner of the BMW and denies possession of any illicit cash.

The BJP had alleged that Soren was 'missing,' with the party's Jharkhand chief, Babulal Marandi, even circulating a poster seeking information about Soren's whereabouts and offering a reward of ₹ 11,000.

However, the chief minister appeared in Ranchi on Tuesday and criticized the search of his home in his absence on Monday as "uncalled for" and "unconstitutional." His party also asserted that the Enforcement Directorate had agreed to question Mr Soren at his Ranchi residence on Wednesday.

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