Police hunt for source of millions seized in Andhra


Bangalore: Karnataka police were Friday quizzing a number of people in Bellary to find out whether the millions of rupees seized by police in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh belong to arrested mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy.

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“We are questioning several people but have not got any definite clues to the source of the money,” a Bellary police spokesperson told IANS on the phone.

He said no one has been detained in Bellary, the iron-ore rich district and Reddy’s political base.

Bellary is about 300 kms from Bangalore. A truck said to have started from there was intercepted late Thursday near Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh and around Rs.5 crore was seized from it.

The only occupants of the truck were its driver and cleaner, both of whom have been arrested by Andhra Pradesh police.

“We are checking on information reportedly given by the truck driver that the money belonged to OMC (Janardhana Reddy-owned Obulapuram Mining Company) managing director B. V. Srinivas Reddy,” the spokesman said.

Srinivas Reddy was arrested along with Janardhana Reddy by the Central Bureau of Investigation from Bellary on Sept 5 and taken to Hyderabad in connection with illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh.

The two are now in CBI custody.

The seizure of the huge amount of money came a day ahead of Janardhana’s elder brother G. Karunakara appearing before CBI in Hyderabad for interrogation.

His younger brother G. Somashekara appeared before CBI in Hyderabad Thursday.

The seizure of the millions did not create the kind of ripples that they usually do among the public in the state as they were more concerned in coming to terms with the impact of the petrol price hike than worry over reports of imminent increase in LPG prices.

“My first reaction to the news was that the money must surely belong to the Reddys. But frankly, I did not give that much attention to it as I was more worried about the petrol hike and talk of LPG prices going up or restriction on number of cylinders at preset rates,” said K. Sudhindra, a software engineer and the sole earner in his family of wife, two school-going children and parents.

“The petrol hike buried the news of the huge seizure and I am not surprised as my immediate concern in adjusting the monthly household budget,” said S. Rama, a call centre employee.