Independent MLA B Nagendra,a close aide of former BJP leader G Janardhan Reddy,was arrested by the CBI Thursday for alleged role in an illegal mining racket that stole iron ore in Bellary and exported it through the Belikeri port.
Nagendra,who represents the Kudligi constituency in Bellary district,is the third MLA to be arrested in the Belikeri case in less than a month.
The CBI has already arrested former Reddy aide T H Suresh Babu,an independent MLA from Kampli in Bellary,and Satish Sail,another independent MLA from Karwar near the Belikeri port. It is seeking custodial interrogation of Anand Singh,an independent MLA from Hospet in Bellary who is in Singapore. A special CBI court is set to decide his anticipatory bail plea Saturday.
All these MLAs are close associates of Reddy,the alleged king pin of the racket who was arrested in September 2011.
The companies of the MLAs are being investigated by the CBI on the directions of the Supreme Court for illegal excavation of iron ore to the tune of 50 lakh metric tonnes worth Rs 2,500 crore (approx) and its subsequent export from the Belekeri (sic) Port.
Eagle Logistics,a firm run by Nagendra,is alleged to have stolen and illegally exported 6.05 lakh tonnes of iron ore.
The CBI Thursday also arrested former police inspector Ramakant Hullur,who was recently released on bail in another case. He was re-arrested for allegedly favouring Mallikarjuna Shipping company of MLA Satish Sail in exporting 9 lakh tonnes of iron ore from Belikeri between 2009-10.