CBI arrests Kudligi MLA, six others in Belekeri case

CBI arrests Kudligi MLA, six others  in Belekeri case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday arrested seven persons, including Kudligi MLA B Nagendra, in connection with illegal export of iron ore from Belikeri port by ILC Industries.

The CBI had filed the chargesheet in the ILC Industries case and had taken up further investigation in the case. The ILC Industries, owned by Kovoor Somashekar, had allegedly exported 9.86 lakh MT of iron ore from Belekeri port between January 2009 and May 2010. Of this, a large quantity of iron ore was mined illegally in forests, the CBI had stated.

During further investigation, CBI had found that many other companies such as Eagle Traders and Logistics, in which Nagendra is a partner, Lakshmi Venkateshwara Minerals, FK Associates, Greentex Mining, had also supplied illegal iron ore to ILC Industries.

The CBI arrested Nagendra, his other partner in Eagle Traders Kuruba Nagaraj, Farhan Sheikh of FK Associates, Ajay Kharbanda of Greentex Mining, Rani Samyukta and Erribaba of Lakshmi Venkateshwara Minerals. “The roles played by few companies in supplying the iron ore to ILC Industries are being investigated. These companies have also supplied iron ore to Belikeri port without any valid permits. The investigation is still on,'' an official said.

In judicial custody
The accused were produced before the CBI special court and were remanded in judicial custody till June 8.  CBI chargesheet in ILC Industries’ case stated that a large quantity of iron ore was mined illegally in forest areas of Ballari and other places of the State and transported under the ‘protection’ of former minister Janardhana Reddy’s men. The CBI had arrested ILC Industries’ owner Somashekhar on September 4, 2013 and also arrested the ‘Risk Transporters’ Kharapudi Mahesh and Swastik Nagaraj along with other accused.

The CBI sleuths on Wednesday arrested Swastik Nagaraj's wife Nandini for her role in ‘risk’ transportation of illegal iron ore. Sources said that during the investigation into Swastik Nagaraj's risk transportation business, diaries were found. These diaries maintained names and amounts paid to both officials and other private persons.

Interestingly, it was found that the diaries had the handwriting of the same person. The CBI had sent the diary for hand writing examination. The report stated that the sample handwriting was matched with Nandini's handwriting.

“Swastik Nagaraj's wife used to maintain the diaries, in which the amount paid as bribe was also mentioned. It has come to light that it was Nandini who used to write most payments as towards risk transportation. Since her handwriting was proved, Nandini was arrested in connection with the cases pertaining to illegal transportation of iron ore or risk transportation,'' an official said.

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