Ranchi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accused former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren of “acute non-cooperation” in their money laundering probe, claiming he is withholding information about allegedly acquired land.
Following his arrest on January 31st, the 48-year-old Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader appeared before a special Prevention of Money Laundering Act court, where his ED remand was extended for three days.
The ED presented WhatsApp chats between Soren and alleged associate Binod Singh to the court, highlighting discussions about a proposed banquet hall on an 8.5-acre plot in Ranchi’s Baragai area. The agency claims this land was illegally acquired and possessed by Soren.
According to the ED, Soren refused to sign and acknowledge the WhatsApp chats, potentially to conceal information about the properties. They further claim he is not cooperating with their investigation, despite confronting him with the incriminating messages.
The ED conducted a survey on February 10th in the presence of relevant officials and claims it confirmed the location of the proposed banquet hall matches the land allegedly acquired by Soren. They argue that such a large structure couldn’t be built on any other land in the area.
The agency also revealed “fresh incriminating evidence” surfaced after searches conducted on February 7th. However, the details of this evidence remain undisclosed.
Given Soren’s alleged non-cooperation and the discovery of new evidence, the ED requested a four-day extension of his remand, which was granted by the court for three days.
Soren’s defence team is yet to respond to the ED’s allegations. The court’s decision on the remand extension and the ongoing investigation’s progress will be closely monitored in the coming days.