Ex-Andhra official jailed in illegal mining case

Ex-Andhra official jailed in illegal mining case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) presented former director of mines V.D. Rajagopal in the court as his month-long custody ended Monday. The judge remanded him to judicial custody till Friday.

The former official was then sent to Chanchalguda Central Jail, where Janardhana Reddy and his brother-in-law B.V. Srinivasa Reddy are already lodged.

The CBI moved a petition seeking Rajagopal's custody for another week and the same will come up for hearing Friday. CBI officials say they require further custody of the accused to gather more information about the role of other public servants.
As the then director of mines, Rajagaopal allegedly favoured Janardhana Reddy's Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) by granting leases for iron ore mining in Anantapur district bordering Karnataka.

Rajagopal, who is the third accused in the case registered by the CBI against OMC in 2009, was arrested Nov 12.

Janardhana Reddy and Srinivasa Reddy were arrested from Bellary in Karnataka Sep 5.
On Dec 7, 2009, the CBI had registered a case of cheating, criminal conspiracy, theft and criminal trespass against OMC and others.

The CBI Sunday questioned senior Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer M.G.V.K. Bhanu in the case. Bhanu was grilled for six hours about his alleged role in granting mining leases to OMC as the special secretary to then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The IAS officer of Assam cadre is currently the chairman of Tea Board. The investigating agency has already questioned another IAS officer Y. Srilakshmi, who also allegedly played a key role in granting mining leases.

Srilakshmi, who is accused number four in the case, was then the industries secretary incharge of mines. She is now the family welfare commissioner.

The investigating agency has already questioned Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, who was minister for mines from 2004 to 2009.

It also questioned late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy's son Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy for his alleged business links with Janardhana Reddy.

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