Jharkhand’s former chief minister Madhu Koda has alleged that he received an extortion call from Odisha on the night of January 9, with the caller threatening to kidnap his daughter unless a sum of Rs 20 lakh was paid.
Koda lodged an FIR with the Lalpur police station in Ranchi, seeking action against the caller – reportedly identified as Deepak Jaiswal, a resident of Bhubaneswar in Odisha.
Alleging that he received a call from mobile number 08984274000, Koda said, “The caller introduced himself as Deepak Jaiswal. He tried to extort Rs 20 lakh from me, and threatened to kidnap my daughter if the money was not paid in a week.”
Koda’s only daughter studies in a school at Ranchi.
“Initially I received a message from the aforesaid number on January 8, which read ‘Sir, aap samay nikaal kar hamein phone kijiye. Aap se kaam hai’ (Sir, find time to call me. I have some work with you). I ignored the message. Then, on January 8, I received a call from the same number but the voice was not clear. The next day, the caller demanded extortion money. On January 10, he texted an apology,” Koda told HT.
When police traced the number, it led them to Jaiswal. While the suspect admitted that he had called Koda to ‘discuss business’, he denied asking for ransom. “My only mistake is that I was drunk when I accidently called him. I recall having a heated debate with him,” police quoted Jaiswal as saying.
Ranchi city SP Jaya Roy said the suspect contacted Ranchi police and expressed his desire to present his side of the story. “We have summoned Jaiswal for interrogation. We will take action in accordance with the law,” she said.
Following this episode, police augmented Koda’s security cover and deployed more guards at his official residence in Din Dayal Nagar, Ranchi. The government had earlier withdrawn the Z-category security cover allocated to him.
Madhu Koda is facing trial in the Rs 3,500-crore money laundering and coal block allocation scams.