RANCHI: On the eve of the scheduled questioning of Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren by the ED, several tribal organisations took out a protest march in Ranchi against the central agency on Friday.
Hundreds of tribals carrying traditional weapons bows and arrows, flags of the ‘Sarna’ religion and posters of Soren, took out the march from Ranchi’s Morabadi Ground and demonstrated against the ED.
The posters written in Hindi said, ‘Stop harassing the tribal chief minister’.
The protestors also held a demonstration near Raj Bhavan and threatened that Jharkhand would see another ‘Ulgulan’ (revolt) if ED did not stop its activities against Soren.
‘Ulgulan’ was a movement started by Birsa Munda against the exploitation and discrimination against tribals by the local authorities in the 19th century.
Soren, also the JMM executive president, had skipped seven summonses of the ED in connection with a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.
The agency then asked the chief minister to be available for questioning in the case between January 16 and January 20. In reply, Soren told the ED it can record his statement on January 20 at his residence.
Ajay Tirkey, central president of tribal body Kendriya Sarna Samiti (KSS), alleged that the central probe agency is deliberately harassing the chief minister on the direction of the BJP.
“Why is the ED silent in BJP-ruled states? Is there no corruption in those states? This is nothing but a conspiracy of the BJP to destabilise the Hemant Soren-led government,” Tirke said.
Earlier, when the CM had been called by the agency, he had visited its office and faced questioning for eight-nine hours, he said. “If the ED continues to trouble our tribal chief minister, there will be another Ulgulan in Jharkhand,” Tirke said.