The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has taken possession of Rs 36 lakh in cash, a BMW SUV, and deemed "incriminating" documents during a raid at the Delhi residence of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
This operation, conducted at the 5/1 Shanti Niketan building in south Delhi on Monday, lasted nearly 13 hours. The search is part of a money laundering investigation related to an alleged land deal case in Jharkhand.
Sources revealed that the ED teams seized the cash, a Haryana-registered BMW SUV held under a name deemed "benami," and documents believed to be linked to the money laundering case. Chief Minister Hemant Soren, aged 48, who returned to Ranchi on Tuesday, has expressed his willingness to cooperate with the ED and is set to depose before them on Wednesday at his residence in the state capital.
As a precautionary measure, all legislators of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha-led alliance in Jharkhand have been instructed to remain in the state capital and attend a meeting to discuss the prevailing political situation.
The investigation focuses on an alleged "large-scale racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia" in Jharkhand. The ED has arrested 14 individuals so far, including Chhavi Ranjan, a 2011-batch IAS officer who served as the director of the state's Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi. Another arrest was made in the case involving an employee of the Jharkhand land revenue department, Bhanu Prasad Prasad.
The ED's inquiry revolves around the "significant proceeds of crime" generated through the manipulation of official records. This includes the use of forged or bogus documents to depict dummy sellers and purchasers, leading to the acquisition of extensive land parcels with a value in crores.
(With Agency Inputs)