Mining scam: CBI raids Bellary bros
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday started probing the alleged illegal mining operations of two Karnataka ministers who are brothers.delhi Updated: Dec 11, 2009 01:09 IST
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday started probing the alleged illegal mining operations of two Karnataka ministers who are brothers.
This came ten days after the Centre directed the CBI to probe the alleged illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh by the firms of the two brothers — Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy and Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy.
The agency raided several of their premises in different states and seized documents relating to the case.
A multi-disciplinary team, comprising officers of the CBI, the Survey of India, the Bureau of Mines, the ministry of environment and forests, etc. searched places near five mines in Bellary (350 km north of Bangalore) and Anantpur district (AP), besides offices of the two brothers and their family.
The AP government had asked for the probe.
A CBI official said the agency had registered cases against two firms — Obulapuram Mining Company and Bellary Iron-ore Pvt. Ltd — and many public servants for allegedly carrying on unauthorised mining, transportation and sale of iron ore. Both firms are run by the brothers.
“They have been booked for offences of corruption, cheating, and conspiracy, and also for allegedly committing offences under the Indian Forest Act and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulations) Act,” the official added.
The CBI also questioned Janardhana Reddy and Health Minister B. Sreeramulu, who is a relative of the brothers.
Janardhana Reddy alleged that the Congress was behind the CBI probe. “We’ve done nothing wrong. They (Congress) are troubling us and trying to create a problem for the Karnataka government,” he said.
The agency, meanwhile, has asked the two brothers to be available for questioning.