CBI arrests ex-Andhra official in illegal mining case


Hyderabad : A former Andhra Pradesh government official has been arrested in connection with the illegal mining case involving former Karnataka minister G. Janardhana Reddy’s mining firm, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) said Sunday.

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The CBI Saturday night arrested V.D. Rajagopal, who as then director of mines allegedly favoured Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) by granting licences for iron ore mining in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka.

The former official was taken into custody after he was questioned till late Saturday night at the CBI office here.

Rajagopal will be produced before a magistrate later in the day.

He is the third accused to be arrested in the case registered by the CBI against OMC in 2009.

The investigating agency had arrested Janardhana Reddy, and his brother-in-law and OMC managing director B.V. Srinivas Reddy from Bellary in Karnataka Sep 5. They are lodged at Chanchalguda Central Jail here.

Rajagopal was questioned several times by the CBI in the last two months regarding his role in granting leases and licenses to OMC and other mining companies in violation of rules. He was director mines from 2005 to 2010.

On Dec 7, 2009, the CBI had registered a case of cheating and criminal conspiracy against OMC and others. They were booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act, Indian Forest Act and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act.