Ex-Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren Releases from Birsa Munda Jail

Hemant Soren

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader and former chief minister Hemant Soren, under investigation in an alleged land scam case, was released from Birsa Munda Jail following a bail order from the Jharkhand High Court on Friday.

Gratitude and Support

Accompanied by his wife and party members, Hemant Soren left the jail on Friday evening. Expressing gratitude for the bail order, JMM leader Kalpana Soren said, “This day has finally come after a long time. Thank you very much.”

Outside Birsa Munda Jail, JMM leaders gathered to see the tribal leader, who was arrested by the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) in January on charges related to an alleged land scam and money laundering.

A JMM leader holding a portrait of Hemant Soren stated, “The way Dada was accused, today justice has been served to him after the honorable High Court granted him bail. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to the honorable court on behalf of 3 crore people of entire Jharkhand.”

“Today we are all very excited because our leader has come out of jail. He will strengthen our party and empower it,” remarked JMM leader.

Details of the Case

The investigation pertains to the alleged generation of substantial proceeds through forgery of official records, involving fake sellers and buyers to acquire large parcels of land worth crores.

In a related development, on March 22, a Special PMLA court extended Soren’s judicial custody until April 4. Soren appeared via video conferencing. The Ranchi police had also issued a notice to ED officials to join the investigation following an FIR filed by Soren under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Earlier, the Jharkhand High Court had ordered no coercive action against ED officials after the agency challenged Soren’s FIR. Soren had alleged that ED’s searches at his residences aimed to tarnish his image and harass him for being a tribal.

ED officials claimed to have recovered Rs 36 lakh in cash and documents related to the investigation, alleging that Soren had acquired 8.5 acres of land through fraudulent means.

The investigation uncovered involvement of a syndicate, including Revenue Sub-Inspector Bhanu Pratap Prasad, in corrupt property acquisitions.

Political Setbacks

The JMM leader’s plea to attend the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly’s budget session was dismissed by the High Court on February 29.

He had resigned as Chief Minister following his arrest in the money laundering case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte