A day after Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren got summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to face questioning in connection with a case of alleged illegal mining, the CM told the probe agency that if he has committed a crime, then it must arrest him. The chief minister did not appear before the ED for questioning.
“I’ve been summoned by ED today when I already have a program in Chhattisgarh today. If I have committed a crime that big, come and arrest me. Why the questioning?… Security near ED office has increased. Why, are you scared of Jharkhandis?” Soren said.
“I am neither afraid nor worried. Rather I am emerging stronger. If people of Jharkhand wish, opponents will not find a place to hide,” the CM said while addressing Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) workers near his residence.
The ED had summoned him to appear for questioning on November 3 in a money laundering case linked to alleged illegal mining in Jharkhand. The agency wanted to question and record the statement of the chief minister under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), officials said.
Soren alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is making attempts to destabilise his democratically elected government ever since it was voted to power.
The ED had earlier arrested Soren’s political aide Pankaj Mishra and two others, named Bachhu Yadav and Prem Prakash, in connection with the case. It claimed that it has “identified” proceeds of crime relating to illegal mining amounting to more than Rs 1,000 crore till now, reported PTI.