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Was Koda diverting money to Naxal groups?

Source: PTI
November 13, 2009 17:40 IST
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Did the ill-gotten money of former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda and his associates, who are allegedly involved in the Hawala and illegal investments case, find its way to Naxal groups?

Questions were raised on Friday in this regard after scrutiny of documents recovered by the Income Tax and Enforcement Directorate by central security agencies indicated that some companies, in which illegal investments were made, were actually a front for the Naxal groups.

It has come to light that a portion of money was regularly being transferred to these companies, which was finding its way to fund activities of Naxal groups operating in the mineral-rich state.

ED officials claimed they had come across documents suggesting that the former ministers had amassed huge wealth including mines, real estate firms and properties in Hong Kong, Thailand and some other countries.

A case was lodged against the two former ministers by the Jharkhand vigilance department on the directive of a vigilance court under various sections of the Indian Penal Code last year.

The ED had earlier filed an Enforcement Case Information Report before the Prevention of Money Laundering Act court in Ranchi against Koda, his cabinet colleagues Kamlesh Singh, Bhanu Pratap Shahi and Bhandu Tirkey besides five others.

According to the ECIR, Koda is alleged to have purchased mines in Liberia worth $17 lakh (Rs 8.5 crore) besides making other 'benami' purchases in the name of his close confidant Binod Sinha, once a tractor mechanic.

As per the ECIR, the properties registered in the name of Sinha runs into several hundred crores of rupees.

A one time close associate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Koda shot to fame after he clinched a political coupe with the Congress' support by becoming chief minister of the mineral-rich state in 2006 as an independent member of legislative assembly, the third politician in the country to achieve the feat.
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