Jharkhand bizman, out on bail and accused in land scam, meets Nirmala Sitharaman, sparks political slugfest

Ranchi:  A controversy erupted after businessman Vishnu Agarwal, who is being probed by the ED for land fraud, met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at an election meeting here.

BJP state chief Babulal Marandi was also present on the occasion.

Agarwal got a picture clicked at a programme organised by the Chamber of Commerce, in which Sitharaman was the chief guest.

Agarwal, the owner of the swanky Nucleus Mall, was arrested by the ED in connection with the case on July 19 last year for the alleged fraudulent sale of a one-acre plot in the upscale Cheshire Home Road area in Ranchi.

The Jharkhand High Court granted him bail in January this year.

Soon after the meeting, his photo went viral on social media.

The JMM wrote in its X account: “Haath kangan ko arski kya, padhe likhe ko pharsi kya.

The people of Jharkhand are seeing and understanding all the ‘Leela’ of Vishnu-Babu.”

The ED has provisionally attached three land parcels worth ₹161.64 crore in Ranchi owned by Vishnu Agrawal as part of its probe into the alleged land scam in Jharkhand.

The three land parcels are situated at Cheshire Home Road, Pugru, and Siramtoli in the state capital.

According to the ED, “besides, the Cheshire Home Road property and a 9.3-acre plot at Namkum, Agarwal, in connivance with the then Deputy Commissioner Chhavi Ranjan and others, also bought a 5.83-acre plot in Ranchi, “which has been in the possession of the Indian Army since 1949.”

These land parcels have been mutated fraudulently in favour of land mafias in connivance with the officers of the land revenue department.

The ED initiated an investigation into three land scam cases based on multiple FIRs registered by the Jharkhand Police and West Bengal Police against Pradip Bagchi, Vishnu Agarwal, Bhanu Pratap Prasad, and others under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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