Hemant Soren arrest: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha executive president and former Chief Minister Hemant Soren cliamed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) tried to tarnish his image by conducting raids at his Delhi residence. Soren had said in a video message recorded just before his arrest.
Soren was arrested by the ED on Wednesday (January 31) on charges of money laundering shortly after he resigned from his position. The arrest came after more than seven hours of questioning related to an alleged land fraud case.
Here’s what Soren said before his arrest
Soren also claimed that he was not linked to the money laundering case in which he was arrested. “Most probably ED will arrest me today, but I am not worried as I am Shibu Soren’s son. After a full day of questioning, they decided to arrest me in matters which are not related to me. No evidence has been by them found yet. They also tried to spoil my image by conducting raids at my Delhi residence,” he said
Soren, which was grilled for seven hours by the ED,has said that time has come to wage a war against a feudal system that oppresses poor, dalit and tribals.
“We have to fight a new fight now against those who commit atrocities against the poor, Adivasis, Dalit and the innocent,” the JMM chief added.
Hemant Soren arrested
The JMM leader was arrested on Wednesday night in a money laundering case after resigning as the Jharkhand chief minister. Subsequently, he was escorted to the ED office in Ranchi. Sources have disclosed that during the questioning, the 48-year-old Soren was perceived as “evasive” in his responses, leading to his detention under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Hemant Soren was arrested after a marathon seven hours of grilling by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case at his official residence.
Meanwhile, Jharkhand Transport Minister Champai Soren will be the news Chief Minister of the state. He staked claim to form the new government in Jharkhand with the support of 47 legislators.
Earlier on Wednesday, Soren lodged an FIR against ED personnel over searches conducted by the agency at his Delhi residence on Monday. In the FIR, Soren alleged the probe agency conducted the search to harass and malign him and his entire community.
ED raids at Soren’s residence
Earlier on Monday, ED officials visited Soren’s residence in Delhi to question him. The federal agency searched the 5/1 Shanti Niketan residence of the JMM leader in south Delhi on Monday, and camped there for almost 13 hours in order to question him. ED seized Rs 36 lakh cash, two luxury cars (reportedly BMWs), and some incriminating documents during the search operations.
Soren to be produced before PMLA court
The ED is expected to produce Soren before a special PMLA court in Ranchi and the agency will seek his remand for custodial interrogation, the sources said. The sources said the agency put across 15 questions to Soren during the second round of questioning in the case. He was first quizzed on January 20.
The allegations of money laundering against the JMM leader pertain to the alleged illegal possession of certain immovable assets apart from his purported links with members of the ‘land mafia’. The investigation is linked to a “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia” in Jharkhand, according to the central probe agency.
The ED has so far arrested 14 people in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan who served as the director of the state’s Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi. An employee of the Jharkhand land revenue department, Bhanu Prasad Prasad, was also arrested by the agency in the case.
The ED is probing the alleged “huge amounts of proceeds of crime generated by manipulation of official records by showing dummy sellers and purchasers in the guise of forged/ bogus documents to acquire huge parcels of land having value in crores”.