The officials of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), led by V.V. Lakshminarayan, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), on Monday arrested G. Janardhana Reddy, mining baron and former Karnataka Minister for Tourism and B.V. Srinivas Reddy, Managing Director of Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC).
“We have arrested Gali Janardhan Reddy and B.V.Srinivas Reddy and taking them to Hyderabad”, Mr. Lakshminarayan told press persons before heading towards Hyderabad by road.
The arrest comes a day after B. Sriramulu, former Minister for Health and a close associate of Mr. Janardhana Reddy, resigned as MLA, to protest against denial of ministerial berths to him and also to Reddy brothers.
The CBI sleuths, divided in two batches, simultaneously raided the houses of Mr. Janardhana Reddy and Mr. Srinivas Reddy at around 5.30 am this morning. Mr. Srinivas Reddy, who was picked up at his residence in Shreenagar in Avambhavi locality, was brought to Mr. Janardhana Reddy’s palatial mansion, located nearby. After sometime, the CBI officials took the two to Mr. Srinivas Reddy’s house. In ten minutes, Mr. Lakshminarayan left to Hyderabad, taking the two Reddys into custody.
The other members of the CBI team are continuing their search in the houses and verifying the documents pertaining to mining and other activities.
Following allegations of large scale illegal mining and irregularities in allotment of mining leases to OMC in Bellary Reserve Forest area in Obulapuram and Malpanagudi villages of Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh, the Andhra Pradesh Government, then headed by Mr. Rosaiah, had ordered a CBI probe into the matter.
Three mining leases were granted to OMC and another one to Anantapur Mining Corporation, both owned by Mr. Janardhana Reddy. His brother G. Karunakara Reddy and his close associate B. Sriramulu, both former ministers, were also directors of OMC.
OMC was accused of several grave charges including transporting ore in far excess of actual production, irregularities in granting of leases, encroaching upon mining areas belonging to Karnataka by crossing the inter-State boundaries among other things.
The CBI had first raided the office of the OMC and other premises in Bellary on December 10. 2009. The CBI probe, which was suspended for some time following a stay from the Andhra Pradesh High Court, was resumed in January this year. From then on the CBI probe went unhindered.