Amid protests, ED questions Jharkhand CM in land scam case; 'not afraid of anyone', says Soren after questioning

Notably, after being summoned for the eighth time in land scam case, CM Soren agreed to join the probe being conducted by ED.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren addresses the supporters after being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren addresses the supporters after being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials.(Photo | PTI)

RANCHI: Amid protests by JMM workers, Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials interrogated Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren at his residence in Ranchi for more than seven hours in a land scam case. The ED sleuths, around 8 in numbers, reached the CM's residence at 1 pm and started questioning Soren, which continued till 8:30 pm in the evening.

Immediately after the questioning, JMM workers already present there since morning, thronged to take a glance of CM Soren, who also marched on the road for a few meters to meet them. Expressing gratitude towards the JMM workers, Soren said that efforts are being made to trap him but being a Jharkhandi, he is not afraid of anyone.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren addresses the supporters after being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials.
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“Jab wo humse rajnitik roop se nahin sake to parde ke peeche se is sarkar ko hilane-dulane ki koshish karne lage. Leking ye sarkar koi gazar-muli nahin hai jo isi ke kabadne se kabad jaye…. jo isko kabadne ki koshish karega wo khud kabad ayege (When they could not compete with us politically, they are trying to destabilize us from behind the curtains. But this government is not a carrot that can be uprooted by anyone, and whoever tries to uproot it will himself be uprooted),” said Soren. Those who have evil-eyes on this government will be given a befitting reply, he added.

Notably, after being summoned for the eighth time in land scam case, CM Soren agreed to join the probe being conducted by ED, following which, he was questioned in his residence on Saturday afternoon.

According to sources, ED officials reached CM House with eight files in their hand and a list of nearly 300 questions in their hand. Questions were mostly related to land scam and sources of his income, they said. Later in the evening, additional files were brought in to CM House while Soren was being questioned.

ED is carrying out an investigation in Ranchi land scam case on the basis of the documents recovered from Bhanu Pratap's house, one of the key accused in land scam case.

According to ED, several important documents related to land were found in the raid from the house of Sub-Inspector Bhanu Pratap Prasad of Badagain zone. Certain documents are allegedly linked with the CM related to the alleged grab of a costly parcel of tribal land in Ranchi.

Many of the MLAs of the ruling alliance remained there at the CM House to express their solidarity to the CM Soren even in tough times. JMM, Congress and RJD MLAs as well as the ministers had already been directed to remain in Ranchi to deal with any untoward situation.

According to Minister Banna Gupta, ED was eager to question CM Hemant Soren, and hence, they have been invited at his residence for questioning. He, however, claimed that it is nothing by an attempt to malign his image.

Looking at the protests by the JMM workers, security had been beefed up and prohibitory orders were issued in the periphery of 500 meters from the CM House from 7 to 11 pm. Hundreds of JMM workers are gathered near the CM House holding traditional bow and arrow, placards showing placards showing solidarity to CM Soren, party flags and banners shouting slogans against the ED and the Central

Government daring the central investigation agency to touch their leader and see the consequences.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) had claimed that there is huge resentment among people against ED’s politically motivated action against its leaders and State government officials. It also said that the Central agency should work with full transparency and based on facts rather than being a puppet in the hands of a political party.

The JMM General Secretary and Spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya also claimed that they fear that the anger among the people against ED doesn’t take an ugly shape. It is therefore crucial that ED remains transparent, fact based and reliable, he said.

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