Karnataka government mulling CBI probe on illegal iron ore mining

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CBI-logoBANGALOREAug 10 : The illegal iron ore mining issue, which was lying low for a while now, has once again in the news with chief minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday maintaining that he would soon decide on officially handing over the probe to CBI or set up a special court to try the accused named in the report.

“I will soon convene a high level meeting comprising senior officials and take a call on the issue. We will decide in the meeting whether to ask CBI for further probe or set up special courts,” Siddaramaiah told reporters on the sidelines of high level committee meeting on Dasara celebrations.

The CM said that the state exchequer had lost around Rs 22,000 crore revenue due to illegal mining in Karnataka. “We will discuss in the meeting on the ways and means to recover the loss,” the CM said and added that the government had already initiated action against those named in the Lokayukta report.

The central investigating agency is already looking into a few aspects of illegal mining in the state following Andhra Pradesh government’s recommendation to probe and also on the PIL filed by social activist.

Siddaramaiah’s remarks on the CBI probe comes in the wake of state going for bypolls for Bangalore Rural and Mandya Lok Sabha segments, where JDS-BJP-KJP have aligned against the Congress.
Former Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde’s submitted 466-page final report on illegal mining to governor H R Bhardwaj on July 27, 2011.

Former CMs B S Yeddyurappa, H D Kumaraswamy, Reddy brothers of Bellary, Congress MLA Anil Lad, BJP MLA Anand Singh have been indicted in the report. Following the report, Yeddyurappa was asked to step down as chief minister by the BJP higher ups in July 2011.

Besides netas, the report has named scores of officials. The government has constituted a committee headed by additional chief secretary to study it.

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