ED raids Soren aide’s house, premises in 3 states - Hindustan Times
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ED raids Soren aide’s house, premises in 3 states

By, Ranchi
Jan 03, 2024 09:18 PM IST

Searches were conducted in Ranchi, Deoghar, Hazaribag and Sahebganj in Jharkhand, besides Kolkata in West Bengal, and one location related to Ramniwas Yadav, deputy commissioner of Sahebganj district, in his home state of Rajasthan.

The Directorate of Enforcement (ED) on Wednesday conducted raids at multiple locations across three states linked to around half a dozen people, including Abhishek Prasad, media adviser to Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, and deputy commissioner of Sahebganj district, Ramniwas Yadav, officials said.

An ED official arrives with a currency counting machine at the house of Abhishek Prasad, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren's press advisor, in Ranchi on Wednesday. Prasad’s house was among the multiple locations searched. (ANI)
An ED official arrives with a currency counting machine at the house of Abhishek Prasad, Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren's press advisor, in Ranchi on Wednesday. Prasad’s house was among the multiple locations searched. (ANI)

ED officials confirmed that the raids were conducted in connection with the ongoing illegal mining probe in Sahebganj district but didn’t share details of any recoveries.

Searches were conducted in Ranchi, Deoghar, Hazaribag and Sahebganj in Jharkhand, besides Kolkata in West Bengal, and one location related to Ramniwas Yadav in his home state of Rajasthan, officials in the federal agency said.

Alongside the Ranchi residence of Abhishek Prasad, also known as Pintu, the official residence of Sahibganj DC Ramniwas Yadav was also being searched, said an official, requesting anonymity.

Other places being raided include the residence of architect Binod Kumar in Ranchi, the residence of businessman Kanhaiya Khodaniya in Sahebganj, the residence of Sahebganj deputy superintendent of police Rajendra Dubey in Hazaribagh, and other places, locations related to one Abhay Saraogi in Kolkata, locations related to former legislator Pappu Yadav in Bihar, locations related to Awdhesh Kumar, a sepoy posted in Ranchi Central Jail, and Roshan Kumar in Ranchi,” an official said.

“The ED had already questioned Abhishek Prasad, Ramniwas Yadav, and Rajendra Dueby in 2022 in connection with the illegal mining case,” an official said.

Health minister Banna Gupta, reacting to the raids, said, “This is nothing new. Their attempts to pull down the government have been failing for the past four years. Now that the election is around the corner, this is nothing unusual. That is what the BJP has been doing state after state. We are unfazed.”

Leader of Opposition Amar Bauri said the state government is creating a constitutional crisis. “If they think the central agencies are being misused, they can approach court. And as you all know, they (Soren) did approach the court but did not get any relief,” he said.

Meanwhile, Soren chaired a joint meeting of the legislature party of ruling alliance comprising JMM, Congress and the RJD at his residence on Wednesday evening.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, senior Congress legislator Pradeep Yadab said, “Hemant Soren is and will continue to be the chief minister. Befitting reply would be given to all attempts being made to destabilise his government.”

So far, ED has sent seven summons to Soren for questioning in a money laundering probe, but the CM has yet to appear before the agency.

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