ED detains three others including JMM leader Antu Tirkey in connection with a land fraud in Jharkhand

The Enforcement Directorate detained party leader Antu Tirkey and three other people on Tuesday in a money laundering case connected to a land fraud, dealing another blow to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). After many hours of searches at his Ranchi home, Tirkey was brought to the ED’s zonal office for interrogation and was later detained late in the evening.

Sources claim that the searches came about as a result of questioning land broker Mohammad Saddam, who is presently being held by the ED after being detained in connection with a land fraud. After the JMM refused him a ticket for the Khijri Assembly seat in 2019, Antu Tirkey, a former member of the JMM National Committee, quit the party and joined the JVM (P). However, he later joined the JMM again in 2022.

Notably, the ED has already arrested a number of people in connection with the land scam case, including land brokers Afsar Ali, Imtiaz Khan, and Talha Khan; businessman Amit Agarwal from Kolkata; Dilip Ghosh; former Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi Chhavi Ranjan; Revenue Sub Inspector of Bargain Bhanu Pratap Prasad; and Pradeep Bagchi. Just 2.5 months had passed since Hemant Soren’s arrest on January 31 of this year when Tirkey was taken into custody.

Earlier, the ED raided nine places, including Antu Tirkey’s home, Priyaranjan Sahay’s, real estate broker Vipin Singh’s, and Irshad’s in the Ranchi communities of Tupudana, Bariatu, Morhabadi, and Pandara. All four of them were then taken into custody by the ED late on Tuesday night. Congress politician Sahay, who lives in the Ranchi community of Kokar, is said to have arranged to have faked paperwork from the Kolkata Registry office and to have sold priceless land parcels to influential people in the State.

Afshar Ali, another suspect, was taken into custody earlier on Tuesday. He is reportedly connected to the fabrication of papers to usurp substantial areas of land in Jharkhand. Along with Hemant Soren and former state revenue department sub-inspector Bhanu Pratap Prasad, Ali is also believed to have been implicated in the land fraud.

On March 30, the ED attempted to seize the 8.86-acre plot of land that was purportedly obtained via forgery by filing a charge sheet against Hemant Soren, Bhanu Pratap Prasad, and two other parties.

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