The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday seized cash worth Rs 19.31 crore from different places linked to IAS officer Pooja Singhal in Jharkhand’s capital Ranchi. Singhal is the secretary of the Department of Mines and Geology and is considered close to Chief Minister Hemant Soren.
This action of ED was related to illegal mining case. It has raided more than 18 locations across the country. In this, most of the places in Jharkhand have been raided. It is being told that the ED was receiving complaints of money laundering through illegal mining for a long time.
The ED is doing this on the basis of a complaint against Singhal alleging that she is voluntarily awarding contracts for sand mining to contractors of her choice. Jharkhand High Court advocate Rajiv Kumar had filed this complaint with the ED in February 2022.
Simultaneously, the ED is also probing Singhal’s involvement in irregularities in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme Act (MGNREGA) in Khunti and Chhatra districts. Pooja Singhal is a 2000 batch IAS officer. She was earlier posted as Deputy Commissioner in Khunti district.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren said – BJP wants to divert attention from the main issue
At the same time, regarding this raid by ED, Chief Minister Soren said that these are only threats. BJP wants to divert the attention of the people from the main issue. The state government will continue to demand those items which we need from the Centre. They have lost the status of being the single largest party in the state and that is why they are doing such acts.
Regarding the political rhetoric on the allegations of himself being granted mining leases, Soren said that there are rules and regulations in the country. If anyone breaks them, he will have to face the consequences.
Election Commission has issued notice to Soren regarding mining lease
Earlier on May 2, the Election Commission of India had issued a notice to Chief Minister Hemant Soren. The notice was issued against him on the allegation of taking advantage of a position on a mining lease. The commission sought an explanation from Soren as to why action should not be taken against him for issuance of mining lease in his favour, which is in violation of Section 9A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.