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

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday hit out at the Jharkhand government, alleging that a Rs 150-crore mining scam was unearthed after the Enforcement Directorate raided the premises of officials and businessmen in the state.

“Crores of rupees have been detected during the raids by the Enforcement Directorate in Jharkhand. These raids have exposed a scam related to mining in the last 24 hours. Raids have been conducted on the premises of the officer who supervises the mining in the state. Chief Minister Hemant Soren himself is the mining minister,” said Nalin Kohli, national spokesperson, BJP.

Seeking an explanation 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 where did it come from? He added.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday raided several places in Ranchi, including the premises of Jharkhand Mines and Geology Department secretary Pooja Singhal and businessman Amit Agarwal.

The ED is probing Singhal on the basis of a complaint alleging that he had illegally permitted the operation of Pachdoomer sand ghat through his chosen contractors without wildlife clearance from the National Board for Wildlife and thus Jharkhand All money in the bank accounts of State Mineral Development Corporation, Pachdumar sand project or bribe money, comes under the definition of proceeds of crime of the Enforcement Directorate.

Senior advocate Rajiv Kumar of the Jharkhand High Court submitted a complaint against him 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 probed.

His involvement in illegal mining at Pachdoomer sand ghat is also being probed.

Pooja Singhal is the Secretary, 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 on allegations of “office of profit” against him in connection with a mining lease.

He has been accused of giving himself a mining lease when he took charge of the state mining and environment department last year.

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