The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on November 3 for questioning in a money laundering case linked to alleged illegal mining in the state, news agency PTI reported, citing officials.
Soren has been asked to appear before the central probe agency at its regional office in capital Ranchi at 11 AM on Thursday. The agency wants to question and record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Three people, including his political aide and MLA Pankaj Mishra, have been arrested in connection with the case.
In September, the ED had informed a Ranchi court that it had detected illegal mining of stones worth more than Rs 1,000 crore in Sahibganj district and adjoining areas of Jharkhand, which were all controlled by Mishra, The Indian Express reported.
The agency, in its prosecution complaint (the equivalent of a chargesheet) to a PMLA court, had said that the MLA had a “fixed share in almost all mines” and transportation of material and even controlled the installation of crushers.
The ED probe began after the agency raided Mishra and his alleged associates on July 8, covering 19 locations in Jharkhand in relation to the alleged illegal mining and extortion case.
On July 17, two days before the arrest of Mishra, the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, alleged at a press conference that the ED was trying to “harm CM Soren’s image”, IE reported.