Pankaj Mishra, an the MLA who is representing Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday for accused money laundering. The investigation agency had earlier, on July 8, undertaken raids at 18 Jharkhand locations connected to Soren’s aide Pankaj Mishra and his business associates.
The raids were carried out in relation to an alleged tender scam in which Shambhu Bhagat, a local trader, was allegedly assaulted at Mishra’s urging. This was apparently done to keep Bhagat from taking part in a tendering process for a toll plaza.
The ED took up the case after early inquiries raised suspicion of money laundering and suggested possible connections between individuals engaged in illegal coal mining and those in charge of Jharkhand toll plaza tenders.
In the name of Mahakal Stone Works, Mishra is the owner of a mining lease. Despite the fact that the aforementioned mine has not yet begun operations, he is reported to have enormous influence with mining department employees as a result of his supposed closeness to the chief minister Soren.