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Jharkhand: Soren Arrested, Another Soren Named CM; Petition In HC | Key Points

ED questioned Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren at his residence in Ranchi in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam on Wednesday and arrested him later.

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JMM leader Hemant Soren | Photo: PTI/File
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After hours of questioning, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) took Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren into custody and later arrested him on Wednesday night in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam. This led to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) announcing Champai Soren as the new chief minister of the state.

ED team on Wednesday was at the Ranchi residence of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who reappeared on Tuesday, ending suspense over his whereabouts. Hemant Soren had on Tuesday chaired meetings with his Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) and Congress MLAs ahead of his scheduled questioning by the ED in a money laundering case.

Hemant Soren’s wife Kalpana Soren, who is not a legislator, was also present at the meeting on Tuesday, triggering speculation that she might be elevated to the post, however, the party decided on Champai Soren

An ED team which visited Hemant Soren's Delhi house on Monday, could not trace him for nearly 30 hours and seized his two cars and Rs 36 lakh from his residence. The BJP had said that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal "helped" Jharkhand CM Soren in his "escape" from Delhi to Ranchi.

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren ED Probe | Latest Updates

Hemant Soren Moves Jharkhand HC, Hearing Today

Former Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), moved the Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday night.

The ED arrested Soren after over seven hours of questioning on money laundering charges in an alleged land fraud case. Before the arrest, he tendered his resignation as chief minister.

While it was not known why Soren moved court, his petition will be heard by the bench of Acting Chief Justice Shree Chandrashekhar and Justice Anubha Rawat Choudhary at 10.30 am on Thursday

ED Arrests Hemant Soren, Champai Soren Named CM By JMM

An ED team arrived at the residence of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren for questioning in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam on Wednesday morning and arrested the chief minister at night after taking him into custody. Parallely, the Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) named Champai Soren as the new chief minister of the state.

Champai Soren, born in 1956, is the current state transport minister, is a seven-time MLA and represents the Seraikella constituency. He was as an Independent MLA before joining the JMM, a move he made when he was an active part of the movement demanding separate statehood for Jharkhand.

The entire ED-chasing-Soren episode was due to the summons issued to the Jharkhand CM who was asked by the probe agency to confirm his availability for questioning on either January 29 or January 31 in connection with the money laundering case.

ED official seized Rs 36 lakh, a BMW SUV and some "incriminating" documents during the search operations at his house in Delhi on Monday.

When Soren went untraceable, an email was sent by him to the probe agency where he alleged that the ED’s actions were "motivated by political agenda" to disrupt the state government's functioning and claimed that its insistence to record his statement again on or before January 31 "reeked of malice".

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

Before Champai Soren was named as Jharkhand CM by JMM, there were speculation that Hemant Soren's wife might be elevated to the top post.

How 'Untraceable' Soren Reach Ranchi From Delhi

A day after an ED team visited the Jharkhand CM and JMM executive president's Delhi residence to question him, sources close to Soren said that the 48-year-old Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader came by road from Delhi, undertaking a more than 1250 km journey.

When the "hunt" for "missing" Soren was on, his chartered plane on which he travelled from Ranchi to Delhi was parked at Delhi airport, while the phones of several people part of his staff were also switched off.

Soren travelled to Delhi on Saturday (January 27) night came in the backdrop of the ED asking him whether he would be available for questioning on either January 29 or January 31.

BJP Says Kejriwal Helped Soren 'Escape'

JMM and the BJP leaders engaged in a verbal duel with the opposition party in the state claiming that Soren was "missing" for several hours after going to Delhi and the Congress and JMM alleging that the saffron camp was spreading rumours about Soren.

When reports of Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren going "missing" were all over on Monday and Tuesday, BJP used the opportunity to mock the CM by putting up a 'gumshuda ki talash [hunt on for missing] poster on X.

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Meanwhile, BJP leader Nishikant Dubey on Tuesday alleged that Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal "helped" Hemant Soren "escape" from Delhi to Ranchi, referring to the two leaders as "thieves".

Nishikant Dubey, in a post on X, wrote, "According to the information, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal assisted in escorting Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren Ji from Delhi to Ranchi. This cooperation extended till Varanasi, after which Ranchi Minister Mithlesh Thakur helped take him (Hemant Soren) to Ranchi. 'Chor chor mausera bhai."

In another post, Dubey claimed consensus could not be reached on the name of Kalpana Soren in the legislative party meeting in Ranchi, adding that Hemant Soren's sister-in-law Sita Soren (wife of late Durga Soren) and brother Basant Soren protest the same.

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