CBI seizes documents from Reddy associates


Bellary (Karnataka) : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday raided residences of two associates of arrested mining baron G. Janardhana Reddy in Hospet and seized several documents, CBI sources said.

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The raids were conducted at the residences of ‘Karapudi’ Mahesh, a mining company owner and ore transporter, and ‘Swastik’ Nagaraj, a leading ore transporter in Hospet, about 60 km from Bellary town.

The two were not at their residences and are believed to be absconding, the sources said in Bellary, around 300 km from Bangalore.

CBI officials declined to give details of the documents seized.

‘Karapudi’ is the Kannada word for chilli powder and the appellation stuck as Mahesh’s family runs a chilli powder establishment.

Mahesh is considered a close aide of Janardhana Reddy and is said to be the man through whom people were bribed.

The Lokayukta (ombudsman) has, in his report on illegal mining submitted in last week of July, mentioned the names of the people bribed through Mahesh. The details were in a pen drive and computer seized by the Lokayukta police from Mahesh.

In 2009-10, Mahesh has recorded paying out nearly Rs.2.5 crore to various officials.

On the basis of his recordings and other documents, the Lokayukta has recommended action against more than 700 state government officials for taking bribes to allow illegal mining and transportation of ore.

Nagaraj became ‘Swastik’ Nagaraj as he runs steel business in that name. He is one of the major iron ore transporters for Reddy’s Obulapuram Mining Company.

Reddy, a former minister in Karnataka from the Bharatiya Janata Party, and OMC managing director B.V. Srinivas Reddy were arrested in Bellary by the CBI Sep 5 for illegal mining in Andhra Pradesh.

The two were Monday sent to jail custody till Oct 3 by a Hyderabad court after the end of their six-day CBI custody.