KARNATAKA

Illegal ore seized; three held

Staff Correspondent

BELLARY: On a tip-off that illegal mining activities were going on in Sandur taluk, the mobile squad of the Forest Department, along with Sandur Range Forest Officer raided PKP mines in Nandihalli and seized 2.76 lakh tonnes of illegally stored iron ore from the yards.

The value of the seized material is estimated to be about Rs. 27.66 crore.

Three persons have been arrested in this connection.The names of the arrested were given as N. Subbaiah, Selvam and Shankar. They were produced before the court in Sandur and have been remanded to judicial custody.

In a press release issued here on Wednesday, P. Rajashekaran, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Mobile squad, said that around 20 companies, which had obtained permission from the Government to lift the dump ore from the mines of Mysore Minerals Limited at Subrayanahalli, had allegedly been transporting quality grade iron ore and storing them at the yard of PKP mines in Nadihalli.

These companies had no valid documents and stock registers, and most of them were not registered with the Commercial Tax Department or Registrar of Companies, he said. They were illegally exporting the ore, causing a loss of about Rs. 30 to Rs. 40 crore to the Government's revenue, Mr. Rajashekaran said.

No valid documents

On Tuesday morning, Sadashivaiah, Range Forest officer, Mobile Squad, along with Sandur Range Forest Officer and his staff, raided PKP stock yard and found that there were no relevant documents and seized 2.76 lakh tonnes of ore. Cases under various sections of Forest Act, IPC and MMRD Act have been registered against several others, including few companies, the release said.

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