The National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources (NCPNR) on Thursday urged Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to replace district in-charge Minister of Bellary G. Janardhan Reddy and transfer officials in key positions, besides taking stringent action against those involved in illegal mining in the light of the report submitted by the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC).
The NCPNR and other like-minded networks and organisations have been spearheading a people's campaign against illegal mining and breakdown of governance in Bellary district. The formation of CEC is the result of a public interest litigation petition filed by Samaja Parvartana Samudaya, a networking organisation of NCPNR, in the Supreme Court.
Speaking to presspersons here, the president of NCPNR and SPS, S.R. Hiremath, said the CEC report had vindicated its stand on illegal mining in the State, especially in Bellary.
“The committee has placed on record that Karnataka ranked first in illegal mining in the country and it is on in a colossal scale in Bellary district. Law of the land does not exist in mining areas because of the connivance from the highest to the lowest level of bureaucracy,” he said.
In view of the indictment by the CEC, Mr. Yeddyurappa should replace Mr. Reddy from the post of district in-charge of Bellary forthwith, appoint a Minister of thehighest integrity and place honest and effective officers at all levels in the district to restore law of the land there.
Mr. Hiremath said besides recent revelations of series and brazen tax evasion by Obulapuram Mining Company and Mr. Reddy to the tune of over Rs. 86 crore, NCPNR team has unearthed some more documents on the mines contracts between Meboob Transport Company and Sri Minerals and Trident Minerals and Sri Minerals.
The 13-page document obtained by NCPNR nailed the lie that the Reddy brothers were not involved in mining in Karnataka. Document in possession of NCPNR and submitted to the CEC shows that one of the close associates of Reddy brothers, B.V. Srinivasa Reddy, managing partner of Sri Minerals, had entered into contract with MB Traders and the document revealed in all vivid details on the role of Srinivasa Reddy not only in extracting ore, but also in securing renewal of the lease.
Two more documents reveal a similar arrangement between Mr. Srinivasa Reddy with Trident Minerals that had been indicted by the CEC in its report. NCPNR was also in possession of documents that show transportation of mined ore from the Associated Mining Company owned by Mr. Reddy and his wife in Sandur for three years.
Regretting police apathy in taking action against whom FIR has been filed, he alleged that investigation into the FIR registered by senior geologist of Department of Mines and Geology Hospet against a powerful person was moving at a snail's pace.
Keywords: Reddy brothers