After fresh ED summons, J’Khand CM leaves for sudden visit to Delhi

Ranchi: Amid the Enforcement Directorate issuing a fresh summons to Chief Minister Hemant Soren asking him to join the investigation in a money laundering case, the JMM leader on Saturday departed for the national capital sparking off speculations regarding the sudden visit.

His trip to Delhi came in the backdrop of the ED asking him whether he would be available for questioning on either January 29 or January 31.

“The visit was not planned. The sudden plan was made after the issuance of a fresh summons by the ED. He has his scheduled events lined up including a programme in Chaibasa on January 29, in Palamu on January 30 and in Giridih on January 31,” an official who did not wish to be quoted said.

A source said he went to Delhi for legal consultations. However, this could not be corroborated from the Chief Minister’s Office though officials confirmed that he left for Delhi.

So far as known, the CM is scheduled to return on Sunday, said the source.

Earlier in the day, Soren visited Raj Bhavan to participate in a programme, but he was there for a brief period.

The central agency had recorded the JMM executive president’s statement on January 20 after its investigators went to his official residence in Ranchi and stayed there for nearly seven hours. It was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

It has been learnt that the fresh summons was issued as the questioning had not been completed that day.

The investigation pertains to a “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia” in Jharkhand, according to the agency.

The ED has so far arrested 14 people in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan who served as the director of the state’s Social Welfare Department and deputy commissioner of Ranchi.