ED summons Jharkhand CM’s adviser in Sahibganj illegal mining case - Hindustan Times
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ED summons Jharkhand CM’s adviser in Sahibganj illegal mining case

By, Ranchi
Jan 06, 2024 09:58 PM IST

“A senior official mentioned that Ramniwas Yadav has been summoned on January 11, Binod Singh on January 15, and Abhishek Prasad on January 16,” a senior ED official said.

Three days after the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) raided his premises in connection with an illegal mining case in Sahibganj district, the federal agency has summoned Abhishek Prasad, press adviser of Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, for questioning on January 16, people aware of the development said on Saturday.

The ED has summoned Abhishek Prasad, press adviser of Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, for questioning on January 16. (Agencies/Representative use)
The ED has summoned Abhishek Prasad, press adviser of Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, for questioning on January 16. (Agencies/Representative use)

Senior officials stated that the agency has also summoned Sahebganj deputy commissioner Ramniwas Yadav and Ranchi-based architect Binod Singh to record their statements.

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“A senior official mentioned that Ramniwas Yadav has been summoned on January 11, Binod Singh on January 15, and Abhishek Prasad on January 16,” a senior official said.

Around a dozen locations related to the trio and a few others were raided across three states on January 3 in connection with an ongoing money laundering probe related to alleged illegal mining in the Sahebganj district.

In a statement issued regarding the raids conducted on January 3, the agency claimed that, apart from seizing “incriminating” digital devices, “it recovered a total cash amount of 36.99 lakh, including 7.25 lakh from the camp office of Sahebganj DC Ramniwas Yadav”.

In addition to the cash, the agency also seized 21 cartridges of different calibres from the premises of Sahibganj DC, the agency said.

“Besides cash, 19 cartridges of 9mm bore, two of .380 mm, and five empty cases of .45 pistols were also recovered from the residential premises of Yadav,” officials stated.

The ED said the action was related to a case of “illegal stone mining prevalent in Sahibganj, having proceeds of crime of more than 1,000 crore.”

“Rampant illegal mining activities were being conducted in the Sahibganj area, and to ascertain the extent of this act, twenty joint inspections of illegal mining activities were carried out by the officers of the ED along with administrative, forest, mining, and pollution control departments of the Jharkhand government,” it stated.

“The joint inspection has confirmed the instance of huge illegal mining as well as denudation of land and forest area leading to environmental hazards,” the ED stated.

During the joint inspection, the quantum of illegal mining of more than 23.26 crore cubic feet, with an approximate market value of 1,250 crore, has been detected and determined.

The money laundering case stems from state police first information reports (FIRs) filed against Bishnu Yadav, Pavitra Yadav, Pankaj Mishra, one of the political advisers of Soren, and others.

The case was later taken over by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as per the direction of the Jharkhand high court, the ED said.

“Probe found that the “kingpin” of this illegal mining was Pankaj Mishra.

The ED arrested him in July 2022, and he is currently lodged in a jail in judicial custody,” the ED said.

The agency had first conducted raids in this case in 2022 and has undertaken 51 such operations and arrested eight persons since, according to the officials.

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