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Cops paste arrest warrant on Soren's house
July 21, 2004 17:49 IST
As Union Coal and Mine Minister Sibu Soren remained elusive, Jharkhand Police on Wednesday searched his official residence to arrest him in connection with a 30-year-old massacre case.
A two-member Jharkhand Police team assisted by Delhi counterpart searched the flat of the minister at Nand and questioned his staff after they failed to find him.
A photocopy of the non-bailable arrest warrant issued by a court in Jamtara in Jharkhand against Soren in connection with the 1975 Chiruddia massacre was then pasted on the wall next to the main door of the house.
"According to the Criminal Procedure Code, if a person against whom a warrant is issued and he is not found, its photocopy is put up outside his house. With this action, we have completed the responsibility given to us by the court and will inform it about the results," Superintendent of Police (Jharkhand) Neeraj Sinha told reporters later.
Immediately after the departure of the police team, supporters of Soren reportedly removed the notice.
The police action left Soren's supporters, including JMM MP Sunil Mahato, red-faced and after their departure, Mahato said the entire action was "politically motivated."
He denied the allegations that Soren was absconding and said that the Union Coal Minister is "among the people" interacting with them.
The case was pulled out from the cold storage to tarnish the image of Soren ahead of assembly elections early next year, Mahato said.
Sinha, who had arrived in Delhi last evening along with CID officer Umesh Kumar Singh to execute the warrant, earlier met Delhi Police Commissioner K K Paul to request assistance of the local police.
Paul directed Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi district) Anita Roy to make necessary arrangements following, which the police team searched Soren's residence.
After the search, Sinha said according to information available with him, Soren had not come to his residence for two days.
"We have recorded the statements of two of Soren's staff members and will inform the court of all the developments and wait for its direction. For now, the procedure is completed," Sinha said.
About speculation that police would need to take permission of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee before executing the warrant, Sinha said, "As the arrest was not to be made in Parliament, the question of taking permission from the speaker does not arise."
The police official also refused to be drawn into a controversy over whether Soren could be called an 'absconder', merely stating that 'many sections of CrPC have to be fulfilled before a person can be declared an absconder'.
Soren has filed an application before Jharkhand High Court to quash the warrant against him which will be taken up for hearing tomorrow.
"We believe in the process of the law and I am sure he will be vindicated," Mahato said.
More reports from Jharkhand