Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren arrested by ED after interrogations

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren was on Wednesday night arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) after lengthy rounds of questioning, official sources told the PTI. 

ED was interrogating Hemant Soren in a money laundering case related to the alleged land scam.

Hemant Soren`s wife Kalpana Soren was seen arriving at the ED office in Ranchi on Wednesday night.

Hemant Soren on Wednesday resigned as Jharkhand Chief Minister while the ruling JMM-led coalition proposed the name of senior leader Champai Soren as new state head.

Hemant Soren tendered his resignation to Governor CP Radhakrishnan at the Raj Bhavan after about seven hours of questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to a land scam.

Jharkhand Congress president Rajesh Thakur said, “CM Hemant Soren has decided to resign. Champai Soren has been chosen as the new leader of the Legislative party. All the MLAs are with us.”

Hemant Soren was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case on Wednesday in his official residence for more than six hours amid heavy security cover and high political drama, the PTI reported.

Earlier in the day, Soren lodged an FIR against ED personnel over searches conducted by the agency at his Delhi residence on Monday, officials said.

Soren alleged that the ED conducted the search to “harass and malign him and his entire community”, the officials said, quoting the FIR.

Soren, 48, who is also the executive president of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), was previously questioned on January 20 in connection with the case.

The interrogation, however, remained incomplete on that day when he was grilled for more than seven hours, an official said.

Soren is being questioned as part of an investigation into a “huge racket of illegal change of land ownership by the mafia” in Jharkhand, according to officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Soren lodged an FIR against senior ED personnel at the SC/ST police station here over searches conducted by the agency at his residence in the national capital, officials said.

“An FIR has been lodged against some senior ED officials… we got the application from the chief minister,” Ranchi Senior Superintendent of Police Chandan Kumar Sinha told PTI.

An ED team searched Soren`s Delhi residence on Monday, and camped there for almost 13 hours in order to question him in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land deal in Jharkhand.

The agency claimed to have seized Rs 36 lakh, an SUV and some “incriminating” documents during the search.

“My family members and I have suffered and experienced immense mental, psychological and emotional harm because of the acts committed…,” he said in the FIR, according to the officials.

(with ANI and PTI inputs)

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