Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren orders probe against his accused ministers

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Ranchi, Sept 11: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has ordered probe against three influential ministers of his government on charges of having links with criminals, an Anandabazaar Patrika report said on Thursday. While on of the minister is a senior member of Soren's Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the other two are from the Congress and the RJD, allies in the government.

According to the report, five members of a militant outfit named Jharkhand Tiger were arrested last week and on interrogation, they revealed that the organisation was founded by none other than the state's agriculture minister, Jogender Sahu, a Congress leader. As the news spread, the Opposition attacked the Soren government and the chief minister subsequently ordered probe against him. The state detective department has also begun an investigation, the police said.

Meanwhile, a national female athlete accused an youth of forcing her to convert her religion after marriage and it was also said the state minorities development and tourism ministers were present at the marriage. Both the ministers, Hussain Ansari from the JMM and Suresh Paswan from the RJD refused the charges but video footage revealed that they were present on the occasion.

The chief minister immediately ordered police investigation against them and also agreed to a CBI inquiry, the report said. Both the ministers were reportedly quizzed on Wednesday.

Welcoming the CM's action, sources in the JMM said it would send a positive message to the voters ahead of the assembly election. A senior leader also said that the Jharkhand chief minister could do what his counterpart in neighbouring West Bengal couldn't.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has drawn severe criticism for allegedly shielding her party leaders despite the latter issuing open threats against the Opposition in the state.

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