Less than 24 hours ago, former Jharkhand Chief Minister (CM) and head of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) Hemant Soren penned a note on X saying he “won’t beg for compromise”..What seemed like a powerful message to his followers came immediately after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) arrested him after hours of questioning.His arrest assumes significance, especially in the context of other opposition heavyweights being on the ED’s radar..A curious turn of events.Interestingly, the State of Jharkhand woke up without a Chief Minister on February 1. This, despite the JMM-Congress coalition proposing the name of new leader of the legislative party Champai Soren to be the next CM. Even Soren had shared the same on X..In a letter to Jharkhand Governor CP Radhakrishnan, Champai wrote, “I have been unanimously chosen the leader of the legislative party after a meeting of all legislators on January 31…I have the support of 47 MLAs more than the required majority figure.”While the Governor is set to have a meeting this evening and revert to the proposal on the new CM, high drama marked the events leading to Soren’s arrest..Allegations against Soren.The ED has accused Soren in a case concerning “huge racket of illegal change of ownership of land by the mafia” in Jharkhand. The agency recorded Soren's statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) on January 20.So far, over a dozen people have been arrested in the case, including 2011-batch IAS officer Chhavi Ranjan, who served as Director of the State’s Social Welfare Department and Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi.The ED filed a prosecution complaint on June 23, 2016 in connection with the case under Section 45 of PMLA against Soren, Ranjan, nine others and three companies..While the accused persons are languishing behind bars, Soren denied allegations of money laundering. In a video released soon before he was arrested, Soren claimed he was being arrested on the basis of “fake papers” as a part of a conspiracy. “After full day of questioning, the ED has decided to arrest me. I am hopeful truth will prevail,” he said. .Skipping summons and subsequent arrest.Significantly, Soren has skipped summons issued to him by the ED on eight out of ten occasions.In a communication issued on January 15, Soren told the agency, “All seven purported summons issued by you were illegal and the undersigned was and is under no legal obligation to comply with the same.”On the last occasion he skipped summons issued under Section 50 of PMLA on January 29, speculations of him “missing” or having “disappeared” were rife, prompting a wide section of the media and the polity to make their own assumptions. While he was reported missing, ED officials had reached his Delhi residence to question him in connection with the case. Putting speculations to rest, Soren was seen heading a meeting with ministers and MLAs of the ruling party on January 30. It is believed that Soren was exploring his legal options and told the ED that he would appear before the agency on January 31. After day long questioning on January 31, the ED arrested Soren. Before his arrest, the Jharkhand CM tendered his resignation to the Governor. The development was made public by President of the Jharkhand Congress Rajesh Thakur..Legal tangle and recourse.Two years ago, the Supreme Court had stayed the Jharkhand High Court’s proceedings against Soren in another case pertaining to irregularities in grant of mining leases.In the present case, Soren challenged his arrest before the Jharkhand High Court but moved the apex court soon after. Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal informed the Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud that the plea before the High Court would be withdrawn. "We are withdrawing it. We wanted it heard last night. Please, let this Court (Supreme Court) decide it. There is my undertaking that we are withdrawing...This is a very serious matter...Everybody will be jailed before elections," Sibal implored..It is believed that Soren has made the following key arguments in his plea:ECIR (FIR) copy not supplied, therefore, unaware of scope of probeTo sign a statement under threat of arrest, violative of Article 20(3) and 21 of ConstitutionArrest out of malice and sheer political vendetta with an intent to coerce, harass and intimidate as part of a larger ploy to muzzle opposition..While the ED will be keen to obtain his remand from the trial court, before which Soren can also seek bail, his arrest is a subject matter of the hearing in the Supreme Court slated to take place on Friday.