NGO says it has strong evidence against four ex-chief ministers

NGO says it has strong evidence against four ex-chief ministers

Furnishes documents to prove role of Krishna, Dharam Singh, HDK, BSY

Disclosing this at a press conference on Tuesday, S R Hiremath, president of the NCPNR’s associate organisation Samaj Parivartan Samudaya, said the documents in possession of the NCPNR clearly indicate that the ‘foundation’ for illegal mining was laid during the regime of S M Krishna.

The Krishna government gave permission to Deccan Mining Syndicate (DMS) for mining in 1,500 sq km of forest land from 1999 to 2004. DMS was notorious for altering mining permissions and lease area sketches.

When this was brought to the notice of the State government by the Union Ministry of Steel, the Krishna government handed it over to the CoD for investigation.

Hiremath said Matha Minerals in Tumkur was also involved in similar acts of altering lease sketches during the Krishna regime.

“Similarly, there are many instances of allowing rampant illegal mining during the Dharam Singh regime. The Singh government ignored the note sent by the then Mines Secretary, Latha Krishna Rao, that rampant illegal mining and transportation of iron ore was taking place in the State. This has been confirmed by the Lokayukta too,” Hiremath said.

The involvement of the chief minister in illegal mining gained momentum during the Kumaraswamy period, Hiremath said.

The looting of iron ore was rampant in Bellary (by Sai Venkateshwara Mines), Chitradurga (by Janthakal Enterprises) and Tumkur (by Hanamanth Mines).

Illegal mining reached its peak during Yeddyurappa’s regime. It has already become clear from the Lokayukta report how the Reddy brothers, who were ministers in Yeddyurappa’s Cabinet, looted the natural resources using muscle power, suppressive activities and forging of documents.

He said a firm, BSK, had illegally transported lakhs of tonnes of ore from Karnataka, causing hundreds of crores of rupees loss to the exchequer. There were reports that the wives of Kumaraswamy and his brother H D Revanna were directors of this firm. The NCPNR was gathering information in this regard.

He said the NCPNR had written a letter to the chief secretary to initiate action against Reddy brothers and associates for purchasing more than 230 acres of land in Bellary and surrounding areas in violation of the Land Reforms Act.

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