Koda's personal secretary threatens to shoot reporter

Ranchi :Harendra Singh, the personal secretary of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda, allegedly threatened to shoot a news channel reporter in Ranchi Sunday when the latter asked him about his role in the Rs.2,500 crore money laundering scandal.

The Income Tax department had raided Harendra Singh’s house Oct 31 when it started raids at 70 places in eight Indian cities to investigate the money laundering in which Koda is alleged to be a player. Singh was also interrogated by the IT officials on Friday.

“I just asked him why he was interrogated by the IT officials. Herendra Singh pushed my mike aside, and when I again posed the same question to him he threatened he would shoot me,” said Brajesh Roy, a reporter with News 24 news channel.

Media persons in Ranchi have condemned the incident.

“It is our duty to get versions from the people who are facing serious allegations in such a big money laundering case. It could be an act of desperation,” said Girija Shankar Ojha, an ANI reporter who is also member of the Ranchi Electronic Media Association.

Harendra Singh is a close associate of Madhu Koda. He was his personal secretary when Koda became minister for the first time in November 2000. He was the PS again when Koda became chief minister and he allegedly played a major role in the functioning of the Koda government (September 2006 to August 2008).

Koda and his associates, Vinod Sinha and Sanjay Chaudhary, are at the centre of Rs.2,500 crore money laundering charges, including Rs.550 crore sent to Thailand, Dubai, Malaysia, South Africa and Malaysia.

On Oct 9, the ED filed a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Koda, three more former ministers as well as his associates Sinha and Chaudhary. Vikas Sinha, brother of Sinha, was Saturday sent to ED custody for 10 days.

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