Secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Mineral Industries (FIMI) R.K. Sharma has expressed the hope that the arrest of the former Karnataka Tourism Minister, G. Janardhan Reddy, by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday “would bring illegal mining to a halt.”

“The original source of illegal mining in this part of the country is now behind bars,” Mr. Sharma told The Hindu.

Mr. Sharma said the arrest happened only because of the efforts of the Andhra Pradesh government. “The Karnataka government has not even accepted the Lokayukta report on illegal mining,” he said.

According to him, the Supreme Court's “close monitoring” of mining operations had led to survey teams defining the borders of mining leases in a scientific manner.

“Scared to speak out”

Asked why the leaders of the mining industry had remained silent for so long, Mr. Sharma said he and several other miners had “extended support” to those who initiated the Public Interest Litigation petition in the Supreme Court. “Of course, many miners were too terrified to speak out because the Reddys were all-powerful in the Bellary region.”

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