Hyderabad: Congress rebel and Kadapa member of Parliament (MP), Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was questioned for over 2.5 hours by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at its office in Hyderabad on Friday. He was grilled in connection with a case related to alleged illegal mining activity in Andhra Pradesh involving mining baron and former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhan Reddy.
Speaking to media after appearing before the CBI, Jagan Mohan Reddy clarified that he was questioned only as a witness and not an accused. “I was called as a witness just as the current home minister, Ms. Sabitha Indra Reddy also was called in as witness a few days ago,” he said.
Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy addresses the media after he was questioned by the CBI officials.Photo: PTI.
During the course of questioning, Jagan Mohan Reddy handed over two government orders (GO) issued by the N. Chandrababu Naidu government in 1996 and 2002 to CBI officials. “The mining lease to OMC was not given during my father,” he told reporters.
While the lease of 64.2 acres of land in Obulapuram village in Anantapur district was renewed in the name of one G. Rama Mohan Reddy in the first order issued on 10 December 1996, the second order, issued on 18 February 2002, transferred the lease to Obulapuram Mining Co. (OMC) owned by Gali Janardhan Reddy. Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party ruled the state from 1996 to 2004.
“So it is quite evident that my father has no relationship with this lease,” Jagan Mohan Reddy, son of former Andhra Pradesh chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy who died in a September 2009 helicopter crash, said. “Then, how can it be linked to me? Why doesn’t the CBI question the relationship between Gali Janardhan Reddy and Chandrababu Naidu, during whose tenure the lease was transferred? I have given these documents to CBI for their perusal.”
The central investigating agency is probing into the mining operations of OMC, which, it says, used Antar Gangamakonda mine in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh to “legitimize” iron ore mined illegally in Karnataka. It alleges that the ore was transported from Karnataka to Anantapur, from where it was transported elsewhere and sold.
CBI joint director V.V. Lakshmi Narayana acknowledged the receipt of documents from Jagan Mohan Reddy. “We are studying the document,” Narayana told reporters.
“After examining them, we will consider them as part of investigation,” he said.
Gali Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law B.V. Srinivas Reddy, managing director of OMC, were arrested by the agency on 5 September in Karnataka and brought to Hyderabad the same day. They have since been in custody in Hyderabad.