National

Hemant Soren Untraceable? ED Gets Mail From Jharkhand CM After Visiting His Delhi Residence

No one knows the whereabouts of the chief minister, an official had said as an ED team visited Hemant Soren's residence in Delhi in connection with a money laundering case probe

Advertisement

PTI/File
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren Photo: PTI/File
info_icon

As an Enforcement Directorate (ED) team visited the residence of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in New Delhi in connection with a money laundering investigation reports said the CM was untraceable after leaving for an undisclosed location at midnight.

In a mail to ED, Soren called their summons 'vexatious' and accused it to be motivated by political agenda.

An ED team visited Hemant Soren's New Delhi residence, which sources said was most likely linked to his fresh deposition in an alleged land fraud case in which the ED had questioned him at his official residence in Ranchi on January 20.

The agency had issued fresh summons to him last week asking him to confirm his availability for questioning on either January 29 or January 31, sources had said.

Advertisement

"It is an unprecedented situation here. No one knows the whereabouts of the chief minister," news agency PTI quoted some top officials as saying.

Hemant Soren, 48, who is also the executive president of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) left for Delhi on January 27 night, cancelling the scheduled government events of Monday without any explanation.

Amid reports of Soren going incognito, a mail was sent on Monday informing his availability to the ED, news agency ANI quoted sources as saying. "Jharkhand CM and JMM Executive President Hemant Soren has given time to ED for questioning on January 31, in connection with a money-laundering case linked to an alleged land scam. A mail has been sent today informing his availability to the ED, JMM sources said. 

Advertisement

According to PTI, Soren alleged that the issuance of summons to him was "wholly vexatious and in colourable exercise of powers given by the statute."

The email also added, "Preserve video recording of seven-hour questioning (of January 20) to make available to the Court of Law." He agreed to record his statement on January 31 at 1 pm at his residence.

Hemant Soren was scheduled to be present at an event in Chaibasa on Monday, January 29, in Palamu on January 30, and in Giridih on January 31.

Soren's party JMM has been staging protests against ED summons to Soren.

We have ensured that the law and order situation here is maintained. We have beefed up security in the state capital including at key installations like the Raj Bhavan, ED office, Central government office, CM House in order to avoid any crowd there... Prohibitory orders are in place for important installations. We are taking enough precautions (in the prevailing situation)," Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Avinash Kumar told PTI.

Officials said instructions have been issued to keep an eye on law and order in case of any eventuality in the present situation.

Ranchi SSP Chandan Kumar Sinha told PTI that more than 1,000 police personnel have been deployed in 30 strategic locations in the city in view of the proposed protest by JMM workers.

Advertisement

Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Rahul Kumar Sinha said that adequate security arrangements have been ensured so that traffic movement does not get affected.

The investigation pertains to a "huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia" in Jharkhand, according to the ED.

Soren travelled to Delhi on Saturday night came in the backdrop of the ED asking him whether he would be available for questioning on either January 29 or January 31.

"The visit was not planned. The sudden plan was made after the issuance of a fresh summons by the ED. He has his scheduled events lined up, including a programme in Chaibasa on January 29, in Palamu on January 30, and in Giridih on January 31", as per an official.

Advertisement

A source had said that Soren went to Delhi for legal consultations. However, this could not be corroborated by the Chief Minister's Office.

The central agency recorded the chief minister's statement on January 20 at his official residence here under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

(With PTI inputs)

Advertisement