RANCHI: Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on Wednesday after over seven hours of questioning on money laundering charges in an alleged land fraud case, sources said.
Before his arrest, Soren tendered his resignation as Jharkhand chief minister to Governor CP Radhakrishnan at the Raj Bhavan and was then taken to the ED office in Ranchi. Soren will be replaced by JMM leader Champai Soren as the chief minister.
Sources claimed 48-year-old Soren was “evasive” in his replies during his questioning and hence was taken into custody under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED is expected to produce Soren before a special PMLA court in Ranchi and the agency will seek his remand for custodial interrogation, the sources said.
The sources said the agency put across 15 questions to Soren during the second round of questioning in the case. He was first quizzed on January 20. The JMM leader was shown the typed statements he recorded with the agency and before taking him in custody, his signatures were sought on these documents.
It was, however, not clear if he signed them. The allegations of money laundering against the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader pertain to the alleged illegal possession of certain immovable assets apart from his purported links with members of the ‘land mafia’.
(This is a developing story. Expect updates)