Karnataka lawmaker arrested in illegal ore export case

Bangalore, Sep 19 : The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Thursday arrested Karnataka lawmaker T.S. Suresh Babu for his alleged involvement in the illegal export of iron ore from Belekeri port on the state's west coast.

"Babu has been taken into custody at Bellary and brought to Bangalore for investigation into the case, which is being done on the directive of the Supreme Court," CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad told IANS here.

Babu represents the Kampli assembly segment in Bellary district, about 310 km from Bangalore, on behalf of the Bhadavara Shramikara Raithara (BSR), a regional party headed by his uncle and former BJP minister B.Sriramulu from Bellary.

According to the first information report (FIR) filed by the CBI, he was allegedly involved in the export of 9.86 lakh tonnes of iron ore from the Belekeri port with a dozen others between January 1, 2009 and May 31, 2010.

"Investigation so far revealed that substantial portion of the raw material (iron ore) was prima facie seemed to be mined illegally in forest areas of Bellary and other parts of Karnataka and transported to the port without the valid permits of the state's mines and geology department, forests department and without paying royalty and forest development tax," said the CBI spokesperson.

The other accused in the multi-crore illegal export scam include then Bellary deputy commissioner S. Muthaiah, former mines and geology department deputy director S.P. Raju and their subordinates.

Babu has been arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Incidentally, the CBI arrested Babu for the first time July 31, 2012 in connection with the 'cash-for-bail' case of former state minister G. Janardhan Reddy, who has been in the Hyderabad central jail since Sept 5, 2011 for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore mining scam in the neighbouring state Andhra Pradesh.

--IANS (Posted on 19-09-2013)

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