Ranchi:The Enforcement Directorate (ED) produced former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court here on Thursday. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) working president Soren was arrested by the ED after seven hours of questioning at his official residence here on Wednesday night in a money laundering case related to a land deal. The ED produced Soren in the PMLA court here amid heavy security.
The investigating agency told the court why the JMM leader was arrested.
At the same time, ED has also presented some records related to the investigation in the court. ED told the court that during the raid on April 13, 2023, a large number of land related records and registers were found at the house of Revenue Sub Inspector Bhanu Pratap Prasad. On June 1, 2023, Ranchi Police had registered a case against Bhanu Pratap in Ranchi. After this, on June 26, 2023, based on the FIR of Ranchi Police, ED registered a case of money laundering in this matter. Investigation revealed that Bhanu Pratap was part of a big syndicate which was engaged in taking over the lands by making fake sale deeds of government lands on a large scale and by manipulating the revenue records.
Hemant Soren has possession of many lands
Many such lands were also in the possession of Hemant Soren and were owned by him. Information about many such properties of Soren was found from Bhanupratap’s mobile. A list of 12 such pieces of land was found which were around 8.5 acres.
Hemant Soren had illegally occupied these lands. Bhanupratap had handwritten something on the photographs of these lands and also verified them.
Soren has taken possession illegally: ED
In this case, statements of many more people were recorded under PMLA. They also said that these pieces of land have been illegally occupied by Soren and they are owned by Soren. ED conducted a survey under PMLA and found that Soren was in illegal possession of these lands. During the search of Soren’s Delhi house, more than Rs 36 lakh cash and land documents were found in the room. This 8.5 acre land is part of the proceeds of crime.
The accused were linked to Soren
Soren is directly involved in the acquisition and possession of these lands and is directly involved in earning the proceeds of crime. In view of all this, Bhanu Pratap’s direct involvement in this syndicate and illegal occupation of lands is a strong basis for arrest under PMLA.
The opposition surrounded the government
A day after Hemant Soren was arrested on money laundering charges, leaders of opposition parties on Thursday alleged that the BJP government is suppressing the voice of the opposition through agencies like ED. A day after Hemant Soren was arrested in Jharkhand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was putting opposition leaders in jail to win the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Banerjee said during a public distribution program at Shantipur in Nadia district that even if she is put behind the bars, she will come out of it.
Why do ED and CBI raid only opposition leaders: Fauzia Khan
Congress leader Karti Chidambaram said it was “election season and the ED does not need any reason.” Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Fauzia Khan questioned why agencies like ED and CBI conduct raids only on opposition leaders. He said, “In these days it has become clear that raids by ED and Income Tax Department are being conducted against opposition members. BJP is like a washing machine, if you go to that side you are cleaned and if you go to the opposition you are arrested.
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