Kolar, August 25: The arrest of 17 people on August 17, including three security personnel of Bharat Gold Mines Ltd. (BGML) by the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) police, is likely to shed light on repeated thefts in the mining area since the closure of mining operations in 2001 and reveal the role played by influential people in the matter.
The 17 persons were arrested while attempting to steal gold ore from the Mysore Mine Mill, the oldest mine of the BGML.
The security guards face the charge of conniving with the thieves.
The police seized several bags containing gold-rich soil and equipment.
Materials belonging to BGML worth crores of rupees were being plundered in addition to gold ore.
It is believed that without the connivance of security personnel of the mines and police, it was not possible for such illegal activities to take place.
The Circle Inspector of Police in KGF police district taking leave on health grounds and the disappearance of the senior security officer of BGML is said to be the fallout of the investigation taken up by KGF Superintendent of Police Rohini Katoch.
“Even senior BGML officers were involved in the looting of mine properties,” alleged the Dalit Rakshana Vedike. The outfit urged that a high-level investigation be ordered into the matter. The Samata Sainik Dal demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.
Of the 17 arrested, the court remanded five to police custody on August 22.
While Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajanna is the investigating officer, Ms. Katoch is supervising the process to ensure that there is no interference.
Ms. Katoch told The Hindu on Saturday that all details would be provided only after the investigation was over. “This is not the right time to say anything,” she said.