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Curious case of the missing Sorens: Did you know Jharkhand’s ‘missing’ CM Hemant Soren’s father had also gone missing after being held guilty in a murder case

Shibu Soren had reportedly also resorted to similar tactics almost two decades ago after he had been held guilty in a murder case.

On Monday, January 29, the media a abuzz with news that the Jharkhand CM and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Hemant Soren has gone missing and cannot be reached as ED wants to interrogate him in a money laundering case linked to the land scam case. As per reports, an ED team visited the Jharkhand CM’s residence and the Jharkhand Bhavan but could not find him. He was reportedly unreachable. The office of the CM reportedly said that they are not aware of the CM’s whereabouts.

Later in the day, reports emerged that the Jharkhand CM was probably in the National Capital Region, and his last location was traced to Gurgaon. It was also reported that he flew from Ranchi to Delhi in a chartered aircraft, which is currently parked at Delhi airport. However, the ED was still unable to reach or contact him.

The phones of several members of his team are reportedly switched off. His BMW car in Delhi has been seized by the ED. His driver has also been questioned but to no avail.

While the Enforcement Directorate is making every effort to find the ‘missing’ Jharkhand chief minister, it wouldn’t be incorrect to assume that Hemant Soren seems to have inherited this peculiar trait of going ‘missing’ from none other than his father Shibu Soren, popularly known as ‘Guruji’ in the state. Shibu Soren had reportedly also resorted to similar tactics almost two decades ago after he had been held guilty in a murder case.

In 2004, the sins of the past had finally caught up with a defiant Shibu Soren as the Jamtara court issued an arrest warrant against him in a 30-year-old murder case. A police team from Jharkhand reached Delhi to execute the arrest warrant against him in connection with the 1975 Chirudih massacre. It was then that Shibu Soren, the then Union Coal Minister, went missing trying to evade the arrest.

The 1975 Chirudih Massacre in which Shibu Soren, father of Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren, was named as the fourth accused

On the evening of January 23, 1975, 10 people were murdered, nine of them Muslims, in a massacre in the hamlet of Chirudih in Dumka district (now in Jamtara district, in Jharkhand). The incident happened after a violent clash erupted between two mobs, one of tribals led by Soren and the other of non-tribals under the banner of the CPI. Soren was accused of inciting the mob to kill ‘dikus’ or outsiders following a movement launched by the JMM chief to drive them away.

The FIR on the incident, registered in the Narainpur police station, named 69 accused and Shibu Soren’s name appeared fourth in the list of names of the accused.

Reportedly, Lakhindra Soren, one of the accused, in his dying declaration recorded by the magistrate on February 7, 1975, at Jamtara Sadar hospital, declared, “Shibu Soren told us that since Muslims were burning the houses of tribals we should first kill the Muslims.”

On December 26, 1979, a chargesheet against all of the accused was filed following the examination of forty witnesses. Soren was chosen to be an MP in 1980. The case continued for the following six years.

Judicial procedures against the fifty-nine accused were initiated on September 1, 1986. The judicial magistrate revoked the bail for Soren and the nine other absentees since they did not appear in court, and they were ordered to surrender by September 6.

Arrest warrants were issued for them as a result of their inability to comply with the court’s order.

In April and June 2004, the court repeatedly summoned all the accused. Finally, the court declared Soren an “absconder” and ordered his arrest.

Two officers of SP rank were sent to Delhi to arrest Soren, but Sibhu Soren went ‘missing’. He reportedly did not even turn up in Rajya Sabha, where he was to take questions. The police team from Ranchi then visited Soren’s house and pasted a copy of the arrest warrant outside and met the then Delhi Police Commissioner K K Paul. There was even a rumour that the minister was “surrendering” in the city, but the teams of both Jharkhand and Delhi police did not find any trace of Soren.

Soren later sent in his resignation through a party delegation to the Prime Minister’s office.

Like father like Son

Now, history seems to be repeating itself, as Shibu Soren’s son Hemant Soren is reportedly gone missing as the ED has been trying to close in on him in connection with a major land scam case. Soren has already skipped 9 ED summons. The current summon to him is the 10th summon by the probe agency. As reported by ANI, the ED had written to Jharkhand CM asking him to provide a date for questioning on January 29 or 31, or else the agency itself will go to him for questioning, in connection with a money-laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

Interestingly, following the sudden disappearance of the Jharkhand CM, veteran journalist and the senior adviser to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Kanchan Gupta, also took to X to draw parallels to a similar situation involving Shibu Soren, who too had gone ‘missing’ when investigating agencies were closing in on him.

“Lik father, like son. Absconding Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren leaves behind ‘benami’ BMW car (and Rs 36 lakh in loose change) at his Delhi residence. In early-1990s his father Shibu Soren had done the Houdini trick, leaving behind superexpensive Dalmatians at his MP bungalow in Delhi. The dogs were taken into care by TN Chaturvedi,” Kanchan Gupta posted.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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