Three mine owners, on whose plea the Supreme Court recently stayed mining operations of a company owned by the Reddy brothers in Andhra Pradesh, were attacked by an eight-member gang in Bellary on Monday, police said.
The unidentified men attacked Tappal Ganesh and two of his brothers, owners of the TNR mining company, when they were waiting outside a hotel to meet the Survey of India team set up by the apex court to determine whether reserved forest areas have been encroached by the Obulapuram Mining Company, owned by G Janardhana Reddy. The Reddy brothers -- Janardhana and Karunakara -- are Karnataka Ministers and mining magnates.
The attackers, who came in a car and were armed with sticks, also beat up four journalists present there before fleeing the scene, police said.
The five-member Survey of India team, which has been camping in the city, was holding discussions with forest and mines and geology department officials in the private hotel and the three representatives of TNR mining company, including Ganesh, were there to meet the team.
Police rushed to the spot and shifted the injured mine owners to a hospital.
The incident triggered panic in the city.
Police said they were investigating into the incident.