‘Ready for any probe,’ says Shivakumar
After the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, it is now the turn of prominent Congress, Janata Dal (Secular) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders to come under the illegal mining scanner.
In a submission made to the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) on February 20, Samaj Parivartan Samudaya (SPS), petitioner in illegal mining case, demanded a probe into the alleged illegalities committed by Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar and Janata Dal (Secular) leader P.G.R. Sindhia, by submitting some more documents in addition to the Interlocutory Application (IA 140) filed earlier.
Besides Mr. Shivakumar and Mr. Sindhia, the SPS has also sought probe in to alleged involvement of Housing Minister V. Somanna, Tourism Minister Anand Singh and the former mining minister and Sidlaghatta MLA V. Muniyappa in illegal mining.
This has implications for the political career of Mr. Shivakumar and Mr. Sindhia, who are all set contest from prestigious Kanakapura constituency in the coming Assembly elections.
The SPS has enclosed what it calls “several key documents” along with its submission to support allegations against Mr. Shivakumar of using his influence over the then Chief Minister N. Dharam Singh in 2005 to get allotment of over 10.80 lakh tonnes of iron ore to eight companies, some of which were owned by the former Minister and his brother, D.K. Suresh, and his close accomplices such as K. Ponnu Raj.
However, in a release, Mr. Shivakumar has refuted charges of SPS citing the interim report of Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde and welcomed “any kind of probe” ordered.
According to S.R. Hiremath, SPS president, the submission also had documentary evidences to prove losses caused to Mysore Minerals Limited (MML) by P.G.R. Sindhia, Finance Minister in 2005, by allegedly getting allotted 6 lakh tonnes of iron ore to K.N. Surendra of KNS Miners and Minerals. “Mr. Sindhia had written to Jija Hari Singh, Managing Director MML, seeking allotment of iron ore fines,” he alleged.
The SPS has enclosed 21 letters and endorsements of the former Mines and Geology Minister V. Muniyappa recommending allotments of iron ore to various parties, including that of Mr. Shivakumar, and alleged illegalities committed by Matha Minerals (ML 2600) in which Mr. V. Somanna’s “kith and kin” are allegedly involved.
The Supreme Court-appointed Joint Team which indicted this mine and recommended for detailed investigation described Matha Minerals as the “largest encroacher in terms of area which accounted for one-fourth of total area and extracted iron ore with impunity on revenue land”.
Accusing Mr. Anand Singh of supporting illegalities committed by Ram Rao Poal Mining lease, Mr. Hiremath said that lessee was responsible for denudation of forest cover in Ramgadh area in Sandur taluk.