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Escort crunch to keep Koda in jail

Ranchi, Dec. 8: The vigilance court today ordered shifting of former chief minister Madhu Koda and his one-time colleague, Kamlesh Singh, to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, for detailed medical examination.

But the two, facing charges of amassing wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income and currently lodged at Birsa Munda Central Jail, cannot be shifted immediately in the absence of adequate security.

Jail superintendent Deepak Vidyarthi said a formal request had been sent to the district police for more escorts. “Till then, Koda and Singh will have to remain in prison,” he said. However, Ranchi SP (traffic) Kamlesh Kumar, officiating in the absence of SSP Praveen Kumar who is on leave, claimed no letter, requesting security, had reached him till late this evening.

A medical report by a two-member team of Ranchi Sadar hospital had been placed before the special vigilance court of Binoy Kant Khan yesterday. It suggested that the former ministers be shifted to RIMS. The report came up for hearing today.

Public prosecutor Naresh Kumar Sinha told The Telegraph that the vigilance court, while ordering the shifting, also said that sleuths would be free to interrogate the duo in hospital.

The court further granted leave to the vigilance bureau to apply for an extension of police remand in case interrogations remained incomplete even after its expiry on December 12.

It might be recalled that acceding the prayer of the state vigilance bureau, the court had ordered a police remand of the duo from December 5 to 12 to enable the department to interrogate them in connection with the disproportionate assets cases lodged against them. “RIMS authorities were ordered by the vigilance court to take caution that the spirit of judicial custody was honoured during the period the two ex ministers remained admitted at the hospital. No one barring vigilance officials would be allowed to visit Koda and

Singh at RIMS beyond official visiting hours,”public prosecutor Naresh Kumar Sinha said.

It might be recalled that soon after arrest, Koda had complained of restlessness and stomach ache pointing that he was recently operated upon for removal of a blockade in his kidneys. On the other hand, lawyer for Kamlesh Singh,in a petition before the special

vigilance court,Ranchi prayed that his client, who is suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure, be shifted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences,Ranchi for treatment.

Meanwhile inspector general of police(vigilance) M.V.Rao told The Telegraph that interrogations of Koda and Singh, which has remained suspended over the past two days, would be resumed tomorrow.

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