India opposition leader arrested in corruption case

Hemant Soren

© APA | Hemant Soren

# 01 February 2024 12:57 (UTC +04:00)

India's financial crimes agency has arrested a top opposition leader, hours after he resigned from the position of the chief minister of Jharkhand state, APA reports citing BBC.

Hemant Soren, of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) party, has been accused of corruption. He denies the allegations.

He was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday evening after seven hours of questioning.

His party has named transport minister Champai Soren as the next chief minister of the eastern state.

Mr Soren has challenged his arrest in India's Supreme Court, calling it politically motivated. The matter will be heard on Friday.

He is the latest in a long list of opposition leaders who are facing high-profile investigations led by India's central agencies.

The case against Mr Soren relates to a piece of land he allegedly owns in Ranchi city, the capital of Jharkhand.

The ED claims he bought the property through "proceeds of crime" by illegally selling land owned by the Indian army.

Mr Soren denies the charge and claims the property was "wrongfully alleged to be owned" by him.

The ED officials reportedly sent multiple summons to Mr Soren but he refused to appear for questioning.

On Monday, officials reached Mr Soren's residence in capital Delhi but found he was "missing". The agency said it seized 3.6m rupees ($43,381; £34,202) and a car from the house.

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