Jharkhand: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren's troubles may increase. Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Chief Minister Hemant Soren for questioning in illegal mining case. Soren has been asked to appear before the central probe agency tomorrow, November 3.
Jharkhand: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren’s troubles may increase. Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued summons to Chief Minister Hemant Soren for questioning in illegal mining case. Soren has been asked to appear before the central probe agency tomorrow, November 3.
The ED has already arrested Soren’s aide Pankaj Mishra in the case. On July 8, the probe agency also raided 18 locations in Jharkhand linked to Pankaj Mishra and his business associates. In its chargesheet, the ED claimed that Pankaj Mishra, the political representative of Hemant Soren, “controls” illegal mining business in the Chief Minister’s assembly constituency Barhait through his aides. The chargesheet was filed against Pankaj Mishra and two of his aides – Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash.
The main reason for issuing summons to the Chief Minister for questioning is the involvement of his Special Representative Pankaj Mishra in illegal mining and other cases besides amassing assets worth over Rs 42 crore. This includes the discovery of two AK-47s and 60 bullets allotted to the jawans deployed for the security of the Chief Minister’s residence from Prem Prakash’s house, besides the reasons for posting of IAS officer Pooja Singhal in the Mines Department on charges of money laundering.
The ED had also caught the case of Pankaj Mishra talking to officials on the phone during his stay in RIMS and intimidating him in the name of the Chief Minister. In this case, ED had caught the driver of Pankaj Mishra and one of his close friends on the charge of getting him to talk over the phone. During the investigation of illegal mining in Sahibganj, the ED has also collected evidence that Pankaj Mishra and his associates used to intimidate the district officials in the case of illegal mining by taking the name of the Chief Minister.
Also, using the political clout of the Chief Minister, officials were prevented from taking action. During a raid in Sahibganj, ED found an envelope from Pankaj Mishra’s house. It had a checkbook linked to the chief minister’s bank account. Out of this, two checkbooks were signed. However, the amount was not mentioned in it. Prem Prakash, arrested in the case of illegal mining, had also mentioned his political ties during the interrogation.
CA Suman Kumar, arrested in the illegal mining case, had also admitted to getting most of the 17.49 crore cash recovered during interrogation through Pooja Singhal. ED had received information during the investigation that it also included the amount received from illegal mining. During interrogation, questions related to all these issues can be asked to the Chief Minister.
The ED can also send notices to some senior officers and call them for questioning. The names of these officers had come to the fore during the interrogation of the accused arrested in the past.