CBI closing in on State officials

Last Updated 15 September 2011, 17:55 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is interrogating Gali Janardhana Reddy and Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) Managing Director Srinivas Reddy, on Thursday grilled key witnessess from Bellary and sought information about the role of officials from Karnataka.

Intensifying the probe into illegal mining, the investigation  agency had served notices
to several miners from Bellary, including Tapal Ganesh and also Janardhana’s brothers Karunakara Reddy and Somashekara Reddy on Wednesday summoning them for Friday.

Speaking to Deccan Herald from Hyderabad, Ganesh, who had sought permission from the CBI to appear a day in advance, said:“A large part of the questioning pertained to probing the role played by Karnataka officials, who are also under the CBI radar for probable abetment.”

Ganesh said he has agreed to share every piece of information he had with the investigation agency.

“They asked if we possess any form of documents (letters or other forms of communication) between officials and representatives of OMC, among other things,” he said.

Ganesh’s elder brother, who is also a witness in the case, was among those questioned on Thursday.

Karunakara Reddy is expected to be questioned on Friday.

A large part of the investigation involving OMC extends to Karnataka and the CBI has been closely monitoring activities here.

However, the defence counsel, during the arguments at the court, had accused the agency of having violated jurisdiction by questioning people in Karnataka.

CBI Joint Director (Hyderabad Zone) Lakshminarayana had earlier told Deccan Herald:

“With the mining activity having been done there (Karnataka), it is important for us to inquire officials from there.”

The CBI has already begun investigation and raiding places of officials from Andhra Pradesh, especially those from Mining and Forest departments.

Sources in the CBI, hinting at more raids and searches, said:“There are additional teams kept ready for surprise searches.”

This would be in addition to the help the agency has sought from the local police.

(Published 15 September 2011, 10:39 IST)

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