CBI arrests Congress lawmaker in Karnataka mining scam

Bengaluru, July 15 (IANS) The CBI on Wednesday arrested Congress’s Karnataka lawmaker Anil Lad for his alleged involvement in the illegal export of iron ore from a port in the state in 2010, an official said.

“We have taken Lad into our custody for interrogation in a case against him for his alleged involvement in illegal export of iron ore from Belekeri port,” CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad told IANS here.

Lad, 42, represents the Ballari assembly segment in the state’s northern region.

His younger brother, Santosh Lad, 40, also a Congress lawmaker, was a minister in the Siddaramaiah ministry from May-November 2013. He was, however, forced to resign by the opposition parties for his alleged role in the multi-crore mining scam that rocked the state when the BJP was in power during 2008-2013.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that Anil Lad had exported the iron ore, extracted from Ballari mines, through Mallikarjun Shipping Company, a logistics firm,” Prasad said.

CBI sources said Anil Lad was booked for exporting about 15,000 tonnes of iron ore from Belekari port in Uttara Kannda district.

Independent lawmaker Satish Sail from Karwar in the west coast, a director in the shipping company, is on bail since December 29, 2014, as he was also arrested in a similar case on September 20, 2013.

Besides Sail, at least half-a-doze former and present BJP and Congress lawmakers from the state’s mineral-rich region were arrested in the mining scam and are currently on bail, pending framing of charges against them by the CBI and the state Lokayukta police.

Prominent among them are former BJP minister and mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy, released in January this year on conditional bail after languishing in Hyderabad and Bengaluru jails for over three years since September 5, 2011.

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