With the arrest of Mahesh Patil, who served as Range Forest Officer in Sandur taluk, by the Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday night, the total number of officials arrested by the agency in the illegal mining case has gone up to three. Of them, one has retired.

S. Muthaiah, Conservator of Forests, who is now under suspension, and S.P. Raju, who retired as Deputy Director of Mines and Geology, Hospet, were arrested on Monday.

Mr. Muthaiah, Mr. Raju and Mr. Patil, who is now under suspension, were among the officials who were under the scanner of the premier investigation agency after an FIR was registered.

The three were accused of favouring the former Minister G. Janardhan Reddy, who is now in jail, and not initiating steps to check the loot of mineral wealth, causing a huge loss to the State exchequer.

Incidentally, Mr. Muthaiah is the first IFS officer from Karnataka to be arrested by the CBI.

Mr. Patil, who served as RFO in Sandur from 2008 to 2011, was charged with encouraging illegal mining in the forest areas.

Keywords: illegal mining

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