Bangalore, Sep 15 (ANI): Admirers of former Karnataka Minister and mining baron Gali Janardhan Reddy staged a mass demonstration here on Thursday to protest his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged involvement in illegal mining.
Rejecting the bail pleas of Janardhan Reddy and Obulapuram Mining Corporation (OMC) Managing Director B.V. Srinivas Reddy, a court had on Tuesday handed them over to CBI custody for interrogation till September 19, when their judicial remand expires.
Scores of Reddy's supporters took to the streets here, and raised slogans against the ruling Congress Government and the CBI.
"We are expressing our heart-felt discontentment, and our heart-felt agony, on the arrest of Janardhan Reddy, because he has done a lot to Karnataka state and he has done a lot for the stability of the Karnataka Government," said Rama Reddy, one of the protestors.
"There is no political gratitude behind his arrest and that is what we want to express before the media and before the people of Karnataka," he added.
He also blamed the ruling BJP for being hand in gloves with the national ruling Congress Party against Reddy.
"In case of Andhra (Pradesh) also, there is a match fixing, it is clearly evident that both opposition and the ruling class, wherever it is, they are joined together in illegal collision, unethical and immoral collusion," Rama Reddy added.
In its 23-page order, the special court for CBI cases had on Tuesday accepted the agency's argument that interrogation of the accused was "very much needed" to identify government servants who aided "illegal" mining by the OMC, of which Janardhan Reddy is director.
The court set aside the defence contention that the CBI did not name any government servant in either the FIR or the remand report.
Former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde's independent inquiry had earlier accused former state Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, and other key officials of illegal mining.
Along with Yeddyurappa, 400 firms and 787 people were implicated in a web of corruption cases which involved mining, transport, customs and shipping officials, leading to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of iron ore going missing from the mines across the state.
Yeddyurappa had resigned on July 31 over the mining scandal. (ANI)