CBI arrests MLA Nagendra
Sleuths of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday evening arrested G Nagendra, independent MLA from Kudligi in Bellary district, in connection with the case related to missing iron ore from the Belekeri port.
Eagle Traders and Logistics, a company owned by G Nagendra, is accused of illegally exporting 6.05 lakh tonnes of ore from the Belekeri port alone. Sources said CBI is also investigating allegations of the legislator collecting ‘hafta’ from other mine owners on behalf of the then district in-charge minister G Janardhana Reddy.
CBI had served notice at his residence in Bellary in his absence, summoning him for inquiry at the CBI office at Ganganagar in the city. Nagendra turned up at the CBI office on Thursday afternoon as per the notice. A special team of CBI officials led by R Hitendra, DIG, CBI, interrogated him for a couple of hours and arrested him in the evening. Sources say that he is likely to be presented at the house of V Shreeshananda, judge of the CBI special court, in the city on Friday morning as it is a court holiday on Friday.
Nagendra is the third legislator to be arrested by the CBI in the case in recent times. The CBI, which has registered five cases in the Belekeri port scam, had (on September 19) arrested T H Suresh Babu, MLA from Kampli and Satish Sail, MLA from Karwar, the next day. Former minister Anand Singh has given a slip to CBI officials and has flown to Singapore, citing medical treatment. His application for anticipatory bail will come up for hearing at the CBI special court on Saturday.
CBI sources said Nagendra has a 75 per cent stake in Eagle Traders and Logistics. Sources said investigations had shown that a single account of the company at Axis Bank, Bellary, had seen a transaction of a whopping Rs 649 crore in a short span of time between September 2007 and September 2011.
The company does not own a mine and is only a trader of iron ore. CBI investigations have revealed that the company has illegally exported iron ore that was stolen. Sources said CBI had unearthed evidence to show that 55 companies stole iron ore under Eagle Traders and Logistics.