How Reddy 'blackmailed' Kharadapudi, Swastik

Former minister G Janardhana Reddy reportedly bribed officials of the departments of police, mining and geology and ports and ensured illegal transportation of iron ore. Reddy had built a team of his men to ensure timely disbursal of the bribe amount.

These are the revelations made by Reddy’s one-time close aides Kharadapudi Mahesh and Swastik Nagaraj to the CBI. Mahesh and Nagaraj were arrested by the CBI in the first week of March and they made the confession statements on June 6. They detailed the CBI staff on how the entire network operated in 16 districts and how they ‘managed’ the government officers. An amount of Rs 2.26 crore was given to 617 government officers as bribe, they stated.

The duo had campaigned for former minister Anand Singh who won on a BJP ticket from Vijaynagar constituency in Hospet.

False cases registered

False cases were registered against the duo after the BJP came to power. Reddy used the false cases to ‘blackmail’ them to accept his offer of leading the team to monitor illegal mining and ore transportation, they said.

The then Kudligi MLA B Nagendra directed the duo to lead the illegal mining activity and gave them Rs 20 lakh to be given as bribe to the officers. Later, Nagendra directed them to print the fake licenses to transport ore.

An amount Rs 200 was collected as 'risk money' from the buyers and a part of the money was given to the officers as bribe, Mahesh revealed.

The officers who permitted illegal mining were bribed first, followed by those working with the police, mining and geology and port departments for helping in the transportation of the ore to Belekeri in Karnataka and Krisnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, they said.

Reddy indulged in illegal mining in nine areas of Bellary and the ore was stored in 15 stockyards. It was transported to different destinations from there.

The men sent by Reddy's aides such as K Mehfooz Ali Khan and Kampli MLA Suresh Babu would ‘manage’ the officers who stopped the illegal transportation, they said.

Mahesh and Nagaraj told the CBI that Reddy and his gang used them as courier boys. They were made to deposit the cheques in the accounts of the benami companies and encash the same.

The Lokayukta team headed by IFS  officer Dr U V Singh had given a detailed picture of how the nexus operated in Bellary, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Bangalore, Kolar, Davangere, Haveri, Koppal, Gadag, Raichur, Gulbarga, Bijapur, Bagalkot, Belgaum, Dharwad and Uttara Kannada districts. The sleuths had recovered Mahesh’s pen drive during the probe in 2010.

The contents in the pen drive helped them unravel the bribery mystery.

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