Mine owner fighting Reddy brothers assaultedMarch 29th, 2010 - 8:23 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, March 29 (IANS) An iron ore miner who has been battling alleged illegal mining by Karnataka ministers and mine barons, the Reddy brothers, was assaulted in Bellary Monday, police said.The assault on Tapal Ganesh, owner of Tumti Iron Ore, came as a Survey of India team is probing alleged illegal mining by the Reddy brothers-owned Obulapuram Mining Co (OMC) in the reserved forest areas of Bellary and adjoining Andhra Pradesh.
The team is conducting the survey on the Supreme Court’s direction.
Ganesh suffered bruises and has been admitted to a hospital in Bellary. His two brothers were also hit when they tried to protect him.
Of the Reddy brothers, the younger Janardhana is tourism minister and the elder Karunakara holds the revenue portfolio in Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa’s cabinet. The youngest Reddy, Somashekara, is a legislator.
Ganesh alleged that Reddy bothers were behind the assault. He told reporters in the hospital that the Reddy brothers had arranged the attack to prevent him from accompanying the survey team to show the areas where OMC is allegedly carrying out illegal mining.
Janardhana Reddy denied any involvement. He told reporters in Bangalore that “it is a drama enacted as part of the baseless allegations against us”.
“The survey will bring out the truth. We have been fighting cases against us for six years. Why should we indulge in such acts now,” he said.
Bellary’s Superintendent of Police Seemanth Kumar Singh visited Ganesh in the hospital and said a hunt is on to trace the assailants.
Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bangalore that a case will be registered and assailants traced and punished.
The Reddy brothers joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 1999 and became close to senior party leader Sushma Swaraj as she took on Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Bellary in the Lok Sabha election.
At that time the Reddy brothers were minor businessmen. Their fortunes soared after 2002 when they entered iron ore mining business. Though their home is now Bellary, their mining activity is mostly in Andhra Pradesh’s Obulapuram adjoining Bellary.
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Tags: andhra pradesh, assailants, barons, bharatiya janata party, bjp, bruises, businessmen, chief minister, congress president sonia gandhi, forest areas, fortunes, india team, iron ore, legislator, lok sabha election, omc, party leader, survey team, swaraj, tourism minister