The former Ministers, G. Janardhan Reddy and B. Sriramulu, who are facing the heat for allegedly indulging in illegal mining, have now been accused of land-grabbing. In a sudden development, a group of site owners, who have come out against the Reddy brothers for the first time, assembled near the area near T.B. Sanatorium here on Wednesday and staged a demonstration demanding that their sites be restored.

The protesters accused Mr. Janardhan Reddy, who is in jail in Hyderabad, and Mr. Sriramulu of illegally acquiring their sites, which they had purchased out of their savings.

According to the protesters, belonging to the middle class and mostly teachers, 227 acres of land on Belagal road belonged to B.B.L. Narayan Rao, maternal grandfather of film actor Ramya Krishna. The land was sold to Eshwar Rao, Subba Rao and Tirumal Reddy and residential sites carved out of it with after obtaining permission from the Bellary Urban Development Authority.

The sites were registered at the Sub-Registrar's office. Some of them constructed houses on their sites, while some others had laid the foundation stone for their dwellings.

The protesters alleged that the houses were razed and a compound wall built around the entire area, allegedly by Mr. Janardhan Reddy, claiming that the entire land belonged to him.

‘Plea went in vain'

The protesters told presspersons that their plea to the district administration to help them get back their sites went in vain.

They also charged that the previous Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police, on being approached, had suggested that they meet Mr. Janardhan Reddy and Mr. Sriramulu and settle the issue.

“When we failed to get justice, we decided to stage the protest,” Annees Ahmed, a site owner, said.

Yerriswamy, Bharathi and other site owners said that they would meet Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas and submit a memorandum, and if justice was not done to them they would intensify the agitation.

The issue would turn out to be a headache for Mr. Sriramulu, who is contesting the byelection from the Bellary Rural Assembly constituency, as the area comes under this segment.

More In: Karnataka | National