CBI questions miners, lorry drivers

The team, investigating illegal mining by Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), gathered information from lorry drivers who transported ore.

The CBI visited Tumati Narayan Reddy (TNR), Hind Traders (HT) and Mehboob Transportation (MBT) mining companies, located near Tumati village in Sandur taluk, adjacent to Malpangudi village in Andhra Pradesh.

The CBI team, comprising eight members, including CBI Inspector Sudhakar and Sub-Inspector Seetharam, interrogated mine owners - Havinal Mallikarjun, Prashanth, Tapal Ganesh and Tapal Ekambaram - and also the manager of MBT.

The OMC has an iron ore stockyard near Siddapur village in Andhra Pradesh. The lorry drivers admitted that they transported iron ore from the mines of Karnataka to the OMC stockyard. The CBI took the lorry drivers to the stockyard for identification.

The four mines under the OMC produced excellent grade iron ore. In spite of this, the Reddy brothers are alleged to have destroyed the inter-state borders, encroached upon the surrounding mines and illegally transported iron ore.

The CBI has visited the mining areas several times since December to gather information. With the investigation in its final stages, it is expected to submit its report by September end.

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