ED again summons Hemant Soren in illegal mining case

JMM leader Pankaj Mishra was arrested by the ED in July in a case of illegal mining and transportation by a network

November 09, 2022 09:42 pm | Updated November 10, 2022 12:24 am IST - NEW DELHI

 Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren at event in Pakur district on November 9, 2022. Photo:  Jharkhand CMO via PTI

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren at event in Pakur district on November 9, 2022. Photo: Jharkhand CMO via PTI

The Enforcement Directorate has sent another summons to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, asking him to get his statement recorded on November 17, in connection with the alleged illegal mining case.

The agency had earlier summoned Mr. Soren at its Ranchi office on November 3. However, he had sought three weeks’ time owing to his prior commitments.

“If I’ve committed any wrong and am guilty, why questioning? Just come and arrest me, if you can,” Mr. Soren had said, while addressing a group of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) workers outside his official residence in Ranchi. He alleged that the summons was a ploy to harass a tribal Chief Minister and destabilise a democratically-elected government.

Stating that he was not scared of the ED or the Central Bureau of Investigation, he had said, “This conspiracy will get a befitting reply from the people of Jharkhand,” he said, wondering why security personnel had been deployed at the local ED and BJP office. “[It is] because they’re scared of the people of Jharkhand,” he added.

The case is related to the illegal mining and transportation by a network allegedly involving Mr. Soren’s political associate and JMM leader Pankaj Mishra, who was arrested by the ED in July. The agency, which had so far quantified the proceeds of alleged crime to be over ₹100 crore, seized ₹5.34 crore in cash, ₹13.32 crore lying in bank accounts and one inland vessel worth ₹30 crore, apart from stone crushers and trucks.

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