Former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren has been arrested in connection with a land scam, which includes multiple government-owned land parcels that he and his aides allegedly grabbed and handed over to the land mafias. (Image: PTI/File)
Seeking an extension of former Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren’s custody, the ED told the court that the deeds, registry and other documents of the land deal were allegedly forged
Former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren and his associate, who is an architect, were about to build a banquet hall and other such facilities on 8.5 acres of government land, the Enforcement Directorate told the court on Monday. Seeking an extension of the JMM leader’s custody, the central agency said the deeds, registry and other documents of the deal were allegedly forged.
Soren has been arrested in connection with a land scam, which includes multiple government-owned land parcels that he and his aides allegedly grabbed and handed over to the land mafias.
‘Location of proposed banquet matches said 8.5 acres’
In its petition, accessed by News18, the ED said, “The scrutiny of the WhatsApp chat between Binod Singh and (Shri) Hemant Soren has led to the identification of a plan and map of proposed banquet, shared by Binod Singh to (Shri) Hemant Soren on April 6, 2021. The location of the proposed banquet mentioned on the said plan matches with the said 8.5 acres of land, which is illegally acquired and possessed by (Shri) Hemant Soren.”
According to sources, Binod Singh, an architect, is one of Soren’s associates. “A survey under section 16 of the PMLA, 2002 has also been conducted on February 10 in the presence of officials of the Circle Office, Baragai, Anchal Ameen, Binod Singh, Bhanu Pratap Prasad and it has been corroborated that the locality of the banquet as per the plan shared by Binod Singh and the area of 8.5 acres of land acquired by Shri Hemant Soren, under investigation are same and further, there is no such big parcel of land available in the said locality where such big structure can be planned for construction,” the ED said.
‘Hampering and frustrating of evidence linked’
The ED has also accused Soren of “blatant misuse of power”. In the petition, it added, “It has already been brought into kind notice of this office that after issuance of the very first summons to Shri Hemant Soren, there has been blatant misuse of power in hampering and frustrating the evidence linked with this case.”
“It may be brought into kind notice of this Ld. Court that first summon was issued to Shri Hemant Soren on (August 8, 2023) for appearance on August 14, 2023. On (August 16, 2023), a petition was made by one Raj Kumar Pahan to the Circle Officer, Baragai, stating that he had been in possession of land and some persons have managed to get illegal jamabandi of his land and further requested the Circle Officer to take necessary actions in order to save him from eviction from his said land,” the ED stated.