Mining scam of Rs 150 cr exposed in Jharkhand, says BJP seeks clarification from CM Hemant Soren

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday targeted the Jharkhand government alleging that a mining scam worth Rs 150 crore has been exposed following raids by the Enforcement Directorate on the premises of officials and businessman in the state.

“Crores of Rupees have detected during raids by the Enforcement Directorate in Jharkhand. A scam related to mining has been exposed by these raids in the last 24 hours. The premises of the officer responsible for taking care of mining in the state has been raided. Chief Minister Hemant Soren himself is the mining minister,” said Nalin Kohli, national spokesperson, BJP.

Seeking clarification from the state government, the BJP leader asked, “Isn’t it the responsibility of the state government to issue a clarification?”

“Crores of public money has been looted. The government should clarify whose money is this and from where did it come?” he added.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday conducted raids at multiple locations, including the premises of Jharkhand Mines and Geology Department Secretary, Pooja Singhal and businessman Amit Agarwal in Ranchi.

The ED is investigating Singhal based on a complaint alleging that she allowed the operation of Pachadumar sand ghat through her handpicked contractors illegally without seeking wildlife clearance from the National Board of Wildlife and as such all the money whether, in the bank accounts of Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation, the Pachadumar sand project or bribe money, comes within the definition of proceeds of crime of Enforcement Directorate.

Senior advocate of Jharkhand High Court Rajeev Kumar submitted a complaint against her to the ED in February 2022.

Singhal’s involvement in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) scheme in Khunti and Chatra districts is also being investigated.

Her involvement in illegal mining at Pachadumar Sand Ghat is also being investigated.

Pooja Singhal is the secretary of the Department of Mines and Geology and the Managing Director of Jharkhand State Mineral Development Corporation Limited (JSMDC).

Meanwhile, on May 2, the Election Commission of India (ECI) sent a notice to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren over “office of profit” allegations against him regarding a mining lease.

He has been accused of having awarded himself a mining lease last year while holding charge of the state mining and environment department.

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