No CBI inquiry in Reddy brothers mining operations: Yeddyurappa

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Bangalore, July 13 (ANI): Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Tuesday said there is no question of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the Reddy brothers mining operations; rather the Lokayukta (Ombudsman) would look into the matter.

The leaders of the Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular) have been demanding a CBI inquiry against Karnataka Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy and the State's Revenue Minister G Karunakara Reddy.

"H. D. Deve GowdaJi has very specifically mentioned about the CBI. We are not ready for CBI because they were insisting for the Lokayukta (Ombudsman) from so many days. We have given more powers to the Lokayukta and we are going to appoint Lokayukta shortly," said Yeddyurappa.

"So, we are going to refer all the cases to the Lokayukta. Question of CBI does not arise. I have already planned a meeting with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil to raise the issue," he added.

The leaders of opposition, however, continued with their demands and turned down the Chief Minister's call for a dialogue.

"Protest will continue till our demand is met," said Congress leader Siddaramaiah.

Earlier today, Speaker of the House K. G. Bopaiah adjourned the House till Wednesday after the protest got fierce. The Reddy brothers are facing allegations of illegal mining of iron ores by encroaching upon a large chunk of forestland in the area causing huge damage to the environment.

Earlier, the apex court had appointed a Survey of India (SoI) panel to conduct a detailed mapping of the three mines of the Reddy brothers. The SoI submitted its report, saying mining should not be allowed till a fresh demarcation of the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border is complete.

The SoI panel had given its nod to Reddy's 68.5-hectare iron ore mine, asserting that there was no major encroachment. The panel said that of the 68.5 hectares, only 66 hectares could be mined.

The remaining 2.5 hectares were set aside for road construction. The panel found the Reddys mining all 68.5 hectares. (ANI)

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