Min­ing baron Reddy ap­pears for ques­tion­ing in ‘bribe case’

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

Bal­lari min­ing baron and ex-Kar­nataka min­is­ter G Ja­nard­hana Reddy ap­peared for ques­tion­ing in Ben­galuru in an al­leged bribery case on Satur­day.

Be­fore turn­ing up at the cen­tral crime branch of­fice, Reddy, who is un­der its probe for pos­si­ble links to a man ac­cused of run­ning a ponzi scheme, re­leased a video, say­ing he had “not com­mit­ted any wrong”.

He also rub­bished me­dia re­ports that he had fled to Hy­der­abad or some other city, re­ported PTI. “I have not com­mit­ted any­thing wrong. Po­lice do not have a sin­gle doc­u­ment to prove that I am wrong. They are mis­lead­ing the me­dia,” he claimed in his video mes­sage.

Reddy, who was a min­is­ter in the erst­while Bharatiya Janata Party govern­ment in the state, claimed his name nei­ther fig­ured in the FIR, nor was any no­tice served to him. He said: “Now that the no­tice has been is­sued by po­lice, I have de­cided to ap­pear be­fore the cen­tral crime branch to­day it­self though the no­tice says I should ap­pear on Sun­day.

“I de­cided to make this video to let peo­ple know the truth. I have faith in po­lice and be­lieve that they would not suc­cumb to any po­lit­i­cal pressure.”

Ponzi scam Syed Ahmed Fa­reed, who is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the En­force­ment Direc­torate for the 600 crore scam, has al­leged that he paid ~8 crore to Reddy for “help” in set­tling the ED case, the Ben­galuru po­lice had said.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, Fa­reed al­legedly cheated around 15,000 peo­ple to the tune of ~600 crore through his com­pany Am­bidant Mar­ket­ing Fi­nance Ltd by promis­ing them 40-50% in­ter­est on in­vest­ment. Af­ter a com­plaint was filed against him by some mem­bers of the pub­lic last year, raids had been con­ducted on his of­fices and res­i­dences by the ED ear­lier this year and his bank ac­counts were frozen.

Ben­galuru po­lice com­mis­sioner T Suneel Ku­mar said on Wed­nes­day that the city po­lice’s cen­tral crime branch had been con­duct­ing a par­al­lel in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Fa­reed’s af­fairs, based on the com­plaints it had re­ceived

“While the probe was go­ing on, the of­fi­cials came across a par­tic­u­lar trans­ac­tion of ~8 crore. A probe found that the money was trans­ferred from Am­bidant to Ramesh Kothari, who runs a bul­lion busi­ness called Am­bika Jewellers,” said Ku­mar.

Kothari claimed he had given 57 kg gold to Ramesh, who runs Ra­jma­hal Jewellers, and Ramesh al­leged that he, in turn, had handed over the gold to Reddy’s as­sis­tant Ali Khan, he added.

Fa­reed said he paid the amount be­cause he was promised by Reddy and oth­ers that they would “help him out” with the ED’s case. Some meet­ings had al­legedly taken place be­tween Reddy, Ali Khan and Fa­reed, po­lice said.

While Kothari was ques­tioned, Fa­reed and Ramesh have been ar­rested, po­lice said.

NEW DELHI:

THE BAL­LARI SATRAP

Reddy, the el­dest of the Reddy broth­ers from Bal­lari, is no stranger to con­tro­versy, hav­ing been ac­cused of il­le­gally min­ing iron ore in Kar­nataka. And al­though the Cen­tral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion had dropped some cases against him last year, the then Congress govern­ment had con­sti­tuted a spe­cial in­ves­ti­ga­tion team to re­open some cases.

Reddy was jailed for around four years in con­nec­tion with the cases and con­tin­ues to be banned from en­ter­ing Bal­lari district. He had rented out a house on the out­skirts in Mol­ka­lmuru, from where his close aide Sreer­a­mulu con­tested and won in the May assem­bly elec­tions.

In 2016, Reddy had stirred up con­tro­versy af­ter al­legedly spend­ing ~500 crore on a lav­ish wed­ding he threw for his daugh­ter with the venue decked up to re­sem­ble Hampi. This was dur­ing de­mon­eti­sa­tion.

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