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8.5 acres of land in Ranchi… WhatsApp chat… Banquet hall… What argument did ED give in the court against Hemant Soren?

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Ranchi. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday alleged that former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren is showing ‘grossly non-cooperative attitude’ in the money laundering investigation. The central agency said Soren is allegedly ‘not willing’ to provide information about the land acquired by him.

The ED produced the 48-year-old Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader before the special Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) court of Judge Rajiv Ranjan, which extended his ED custody by three days.

After resigning from the post of Chief Minister, Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on January 31. The agency told the court that WhatsApp chats between Soren and his alleged ‘close associate’ Binod Singh contained details of a banquet hall which was proposed to be built on 8.5 acres of land in Ranchi’s Badgai area. ED alleges that this immovable property was ‘illegally acquired’ by Soren.

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Seeking four-day remand of Soren, the ED said, “The accused person Hemant Soren is showing gross non-cooperation and is not willing to reveal the true facts regarding the properties acquired by him and other persons associated with him.”

The agency said the former chief minister is being confronted over his WhatsApp chats with Binod Singh which included exchange of information related to immovable properties. It said that Soren is also refusing to accept the WhatsApp chat talk to hide information about the properties.

ED said, “Investigation of WhatsApp chat between Binod Singh and Hemant Soren has identified the plan/map shared by Binod Singh to Hemant Soren on 06.04.2021 regarding the proposed banquet hall. It claimed, ‘The location of the proposed banquet hall mentioned in the said plan matches with the said 8.5 acres of land which was acquired illegally.

The court was informed by the ED that its officers had conducted a survey on February 10 in the presence of Badgai area officers, Binod Singh, Bhanu Pratap Prasad (Revenue Sub-Inspector arrested in this case) and it was confirmed that ‘ As per the plan shared by Binod Singh (with Soren on WhatsApp), the area of ​​the banquet hall and the 8.5 acre land acquired by Soren are the same.

The agency had earlier alleged that after the investigation began, the said piece of land was returned to a person named Rajkumar Pahan. It said Soren is ‘not cooperating’ and is not ready to give information about the properties belonging to him and hence there is a need to extend his ED custody. The agency said that searches were conducted in the case on February 7 and ‘new evidence has come to light’.


This post originally appeared on hindi.news18.com

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