Hemant Soren resigns, arrested by ED; Champai Soren to be new CM

JNS: Former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday in connection with an alleged money laundering case linked to a land scam.

The arrest came shortly after Soren tendered his resignation from the post of Chief Minister to the Governor of Jharkhand.

Under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), Hemant Soren was taken into custody by ED officials who have been investigating his alleged involvement in a complex land-related irregularity in Ranchi.

“We have compelling evidence indicating that he is the primary beneficiary in the alleged land-related irregularities in Ranchi,” said an official on anonymity.

“These irregularities entail a network of brokers and businessmen who have collaborated over the years to fabricate land deeds by falsifying records in registrar offices and subsequently selling the properties.”

The official continued, “Furthermore, we possess evidence indicating that Hemant Soren had acquired certain parcels of land in Jharkhand under investigation, which had been unlawfully obtained by others through fraudulent documents.”

It is worth noting that a Chief Minister can be subject to arrest under anti-money laundering regulations if they evade summons on three separate occasions.

Earlier today, ED officials arrived at Soren’s residence around 1:35 PM to record his statement. Reports suggest that Soren engaged in discussions with the officials and insisted that he would only sign the arrest memorandum after formally stepping down from his position. Following this, ED officials escorted him to meet with the Governor.

This development follows a series of interactions between Hemant Soren and the ED. On January 20, the Chief Minister was questioned by ED officials for an extended period of seven hours at his residence. Subsequently, on January 22, the ED requested Soren to provide his statement between January 27 and 31. However, on January 25, the Chief Minister indirectly declined the ED’s request for questioning.

On January 29, Soren penned a letter to the ED, accusing the agency of having “political motives” and hindering the functioning of the elected government. He later sent an email to the ED, agreeing to record his statement at his residence on January 31, summoning the central agency to his home at 1 PM on Wednesday.

Hemant Soren has claimed that he is being targeted as a part of a huge conspiracy.

Now, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha’s (JMM) senior leader and Transport Minister, Champai Soren, is set to assume the role of the new Chief Minister of Jharkhand. Health Minister Banna Gupta announced the election of Champai Soren as the legislative party leader.

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