In an early morning swoop today, the Central Bureau of Investigation arrested iron ore mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy as well as his brother-in-law Srinivas Reddy, the managing director of Obalapuram Mining Co (OMC), the most controversial of the clutch of mining companies owned by the Reddy family.
The two were driven to Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, more than 500 km northeast of Bangalore, in Janardhan's own Toyota Innova with a covered Indian flag – the emblem of Indian officialdom – on the hood. He is scheduled to be produced before a Hyderabad court later today.
The raft of charges against Reddy, the mega-millionaire son of a police constable, include criminal conspiracy, cheating, theft, corruption and illegal mining, under the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act, Indian Forest Act and Mines and Minerals Regulation Act.
The CBI seized Reddy's private helicopter, "Rukmini", and took away a laptop, a diary and other documents from his Hyderabad mansion. Other CBI officials questioned Reddy's wife, Lakshmi Aruna, in the Reddy fiefdom of Bellary, 300km north of Bangalore. Unaccounted cash and gold were also found by the CBI at Reddy's homes in Bangalore and Bellary.
Reports citing CBI sources put the cash seized at Rs2-Rs3 crore, and the gold haul at a massive 20-30 kg.
The CBI said the arrests were not related to the report submitted by the Karnataka Lokayukta or anti-corruption ombudsman in July accusing Reddy, his two brothers (also former state ministers), former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, and more than 700 officials and politicians of involvement in illegal mining across the district of Bellary.