Bengaluru, Nov 20 (IANS) The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the anti-graft watchdog Lokayukta (ombudsman) on Friday arrested Karnataka mining baron and former BJP minister Gali Janardhan Reddy for his alleged involvement in the illegal export of iron ore from Belekeri port on the state’s west coast.
“Reddy was taken into custody under the Prevention of Corruption Act in the case of illegal export of iron ore that was also illegally mined in Bellary district between 2008-10,” an SIT official told reporters here.
Reddy, 48, has been on bail since January in other illegal mining cases the CBI filed against him in Hyderabad and Bengaluru since 2011. He was interrogated at the state secretariat’s annex building a day after his accomplice Madhu Kumar Verma was quizzed on Thursday.
The state government had directed the SIT to probe the illegal export of 50,000 tonnes of iron ore by mining firms under Reddy’s patronage and his aides, including two lawmakers, transporters and a few middlemen.
After interrogation by SIT sleuths, Reddy was taken to a state-run hospital at Yelahanka in the northern suburb under escort for medical check-up.
“We will produce him (Reddy) in a local court later for judicial remand and further interrogation as part of the investigation into the multi-crore scam,” the official said.
Reddy, a member of the state legislative council, secured bail from the Supreme Court on January 20 after languishing in Hyderabad and Bengaluru jails since his arrest on September 5, 2011, when the BJP was in power in this southern state.