Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has condemned the arrest of former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren. In a statement released on Thursday, February 1, Stalin called Soren’s arrest “outrageous and shameful.”
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s statement comes a day after Soren resigned from his post following his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection to an alleged land scam.
In the statement, Stalin said, “The arrest of Hon'ble Jharkhand Chief Minister Thiru Hemant Soren is a blatant display of political vendetta by the Union BJP Govt. Using investigative agencies to harass a tribal leader is a new low. This act reeks of desperation and abuse of power. BJP's dirty tactics won't silence opposition voices.”
It may be noted that in 2023, Soren had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking separate recognition for the Sarna religion followed by several Adivasi communities. He has been ardent in his stance that the Sarna religion does not belong to Hinduism and that it is a separate form of nature worship practised by indigenous communities.
Stalin further said in his statement that, “Despite BJP's vindictive politics, Thiru Hemant Soren stands strong, refusing to bow down. His resilience in the face of adversity is commendable. His determination to fight back against BJP's bullying tactics is an inspiration.”
On January 31, the ED officials who were questioning Hemant Soren at his residence informed him that he would be arrested as they were not satisfied with his answers to their queries. Subsequently, it was announced that Hemant Soren had challenged the ED probe and his arrest in a writ petition in the Jharkhand High Court on January 31 but the matter was not heard and was expected to be mentioned on February 1 for hearing.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) that is in power in the state has now appointed Transport Minister Champai Soren as the chief minister.