ED arrests Jharkhand minister Alamgir Alam in money laundering case

Last week, the agency arrested Alamgir Alam’s Officer on Special Duty Sanjiv Kumar Lal and his domestic help Jahangir Alam after the seizure of more than Rs 36 crore in cash from a flat

Updated - May 16, 2024 05:32 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2024 07:19 pm IST - Ranchi

Family members of Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Alamgir Alam arrive at the zonal headquarters of the Enforcement Directorate after the ED arrested the Congress leader in a money laundering case in Ranchi on May 15, 2024.

Family members of Jharkhand Rural Development Minister Alamgir Alam arrive at the zonal headquarters of the Enforcement Directorate after the ED arrested the Congress leader in a money laundering case in Ranchi on May 15, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Wednesday arrested Jharkhand Rural Development Minister and Congress leader Alamgir Alam on the second day of interrogation in a money laundering case.

The agency had last week arrested Mr. Alam’s Officer on Special Duty Sanjiv Kumar Lal and his domestic help Jahangir Alam after the seizure of more than Rs 36 crore in cash from a flat linked to them.

Mr. Alam, 70, the Pakur MLA, was asked to depose at the ED office to record his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on Tuesday and was questioned for more than 10 hours.

The investigation pertains to alleged irregularities in the State Rural Development Department. The raids at the residence of Mr. Lal and the domestic help were conducted in connection with the ongoing investigation in the money laundering case against Virendra Ram, former chief engineer of the Rural Development Ministry.

In total, the ED has seized Rs 36.75 crore in connection with the probe.

Earlier, Mr. Alam had distanced himself from the activities of Mr. Lal. Talking to reporters, he had said the official had served with other Ministers of the State government too.

The Jharkhand BJP came down hard on the government saying the entire Cabinet of the Jharkhand government is yet to be exposed. Rajya Sabha MP and former Jharkhand BJP president Deepak Prakash said, “Like Alamgir Alam, there are several white-collar ministers involved in the corruption cases and all will be exposed soon.”

Jharkhand Congress general secretary and media in-charge Rakesh Sinha slammed the BJP and the Union government over the arrest of Mr. Alam and said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has lost the Lok Sabha election and Mr. Alam’s arrest is the “last nail in the coffin of Prime Minister Narendra Modi government”. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha spokesperson Vinod Pandey accused the Modi government of running a dictatorial government.

Former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Hemant Soren, is already in jail in the money laundering case. The arrest of Mr. Alam is a big setback for the Champai Soren government. After the arrest, Mr. Alam is likely to lose the Cabinet berth. He is the second-in-command of the Jharkhand government.

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