31 Jan 2024

Jharkhand: CM Hemant Soren lodge FIR against ED officials at SC-ST police station

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has filed a police complaint in Ranchi against officials from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) who conducted a search operation at his residence in Delhi on January 29.

The First Information Report (FIR) has been registered at the SC-ST police station. Ranchi SSP Chandan Kumar Sinha informed the media, stating, "Chief Minister Hemant Soren alleges in his complaint that a team of ED officials arrived at his residence without prior notice and disseminated false information to tarnish his reputation."

A senior officer from Ranchi Police verified this information, stating that Chief Minister Hemant Soren had submitted an application, urging the filing of the report.

In his complaint, the Chief Minister has leveled various cognizable charges against the ED officials. He informed the police that the ED team conducted a raid at his Shanti Niketan residence in Delhi while he was away, and they mistreated the employees present.

On January 29, the ED had summoned Hemant Soren for questioning in a money laundering case. However, he did not appear, leading the BJP to claim that the Jharkhand Chief Minister was missing. For approximately 36 hours, Soren was neither at his Delhi residence nor in Ranchi.

Soren eventually returned to Ranchi on Tuesday and held a meeting with the MLAs there.

Party is ready to confront BJP's plots: JMM

In the midst of intense speculation surrounding his arrest, Hemant Soren underwent questioning by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). If the Jharkhand Chief Minister is indeed arrested, his wife, Kalpana Soren, emerges as the leading candidate for the chief ministerial position.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) MP Mahua Maji said on the speculations of CM's arrest, "You can see how the Central Government and BJP are hatching a conspiracy to destabilize & topple governments and form their own government in non-BJP ruled states. The party is prepared to face and tackle all conspiracies. But no such situation will arise as all the MLAs in the party are united. Hemant Soren will be the CM...We are hearing it from the media." 

Protests erupted as Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) supporters expressed dissent at Morabadi Ground and various locations over the Enforcement Directorate's actions against Hemant Soren. Alleging deliberate harassment directed by the Centre, protesters threatened to implement an economic blockade across the entire state.

The case against Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren revolves around a "large-scale racket involving illegal changes of land ownership by the mafia" in Jharkhand, according to the Enforcement Directorate (ED). A total of 14 individuals, including Chhavi Ranjan, a 2011-batch IAS officer who previously served in key positions within the state, have been apprehended in connection with the case. Ranjan held roles as director in the state's Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi.

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