Hiremath seeks 'tainted' Lad's resignation

S R Hiremath, president of the National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources, on Wednesday demanded the resignation of Infrastructure Development Minister Santosh Lad, alleging that Lad is a partner in  V S Lad and Sons, which is involved in illegal mining activities as per the reports of the Lokayukta, the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) and the Supreme Court order.

Addressing reporters here, Hiremath produced documents pertaining to the alleged company in the Lokayukta report, which stated that as per the electronic records that were seized, over 67,054.976 MT (metric tonnes) of iron ore that was supplied from January 2009 to February 2010 at Belekeri port was in the name of VSL, which indicated V S Lad. 

Hiremath produced documents to prove that 10710.12 MT of iron ore exported by Sathya Granites, by P K Ponnuraj, had come from the V S Lad mines.

This was also confirmed in the CEC report in September 2009.

He produced documents on how V S Lad and Sons made attempts to upgrade their company from ‘C’ category (worst offenders) to ‘B’ category (less than worst offenders).

The Forest Bench of the Supreme Court had ruled out such upgrading, after considering the facts in the CEC report and ordered investigation against the said company in its latest order on September 16.

Evidence

A week ago, Santosh Lad had told reporters that he had great respect for Hiremath and that he should not make baseless allegations against him. Lad had asked Hiremath to come out with documents about his involvement in illegal mining.

Dr Eknath Lad, managing partner, V S Lad and Sons, gave a statement stating that VSL does not mean V S Lad and Sons and that there is another company with its directors including Anil H Lad and Arathi Lad, called VSL Mining Company Private Limited, which is involved in mineral trading and export business.

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