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Mukesh Kumar Mishra, Hindustan Times
Patna, March 08, 2013
The Patna police on Friday detained Umashankar Sharma, said to be a private secretary of Bihar deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, on the charge of allegedly cheating his partner in a private joint business.

In an FIR lodged at the Buddha Colony police station in Pata, the business partner, Tripuri Singh, claimed Sharma forged a cheque issued by their joint signatures to withdraw a much larger amount than for what it had been issued

"I had issued a cheque of Rs. 15,000 but Sharma took out Rs. 1.5 lakh from the account by forging the cheque. He added an extra zero in numeral entry and wrote rupees one lakh fifty thousand in words after cutting rupees fifteen thousand and signed it", said Singh in his FIR.

Patna city SP Jayant Kant confirmed the incident. He said Sharma has been detained. "Investigation in the case is underway, as we speak," he added.

Singh, who works as a chef in the USA but is in Bihar frequently, said the bank account (at Patna's PNB, Rajapur, Boring Road branch) pertained to a partnership firm, Natraj Foods, they had started about four months ago.

The cheque was encashed on February 27. But Sharma, a resident of Rupa Apartments under Gardanibagh (Patna) police station, was found and detained on Friday morning.

"I noticed the fraud on March 5 and immediately approached the police. But a case was registered only after I approached Bihar DGP Abhayanand, who asked me to meet the City SP", Singh told HT.

Sharma could not be contacted as his mobile was switched off. Even Modi could not be reach for comment despite several attempts.

However, another Modi aide confirmed the incident but declined to be quoted.