Taking the probe into activities of Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) a step ahead,the CBI today arrested V D Rajagopal,the former vice-chairman and managing director (in-charge) of Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation.
Rajagopal was arrested under various section of IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act,said CBI Joint Director (Hyderabad Zone) V V Lakshmi Narayana.
Rajagopal is the third person to be arrested in the OMC case,after former Karnataka minister Gali Janardhana Reddy,who owns OMC,and the firm’s Managing Director,B V Srinivas Reddy. The two were arrested on September 5.
Rajagopal was produced at magistrate’s residence in Banjara Hills (as the court is closed on Sunday). The magistrate directed the agency to produce him before the special court for CBI cases tomorrow,sources said.
Rajagopal,also former Director,Mines and Geology,was managing director of Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation from 2004-09,during the tenure of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
Recently he went on record to say that OMC was given preferential treatment in allocation of iron ore and leases by the YSR government.
“YSR government was favourable to OMC..it was given top priority as it was going to set up big industries (Brahmani Industries steel plant in Kadapa district),” he had said and asserted that he was not the sanctioning authority.
With the arrest of Rajagopal,the focus now shifts to senior IAS officer Y Srilakshmi,who too has been named as an accused in the OMC case.
CBI has found irregularities in certain leases given to OMC between 2005 and 2009 when Srilakshmi was the secretary of Andhra Pradesh Industries Department.
The agency has earlier recorded his statement and searched his residence. Srilakshmi is Commissioner (Health) at present.
Rajagopal is accused (along with others) of allowing mining on ‘encroached’ land in the Bellary Reserve Forest area,construction of roads through forest and encroachment on neighbouring leases on the Anantapur-Bellary border.
OMC is accused of changing mining lease boundary markings in Andhra Pradesh- Karnataka border area,and of illegal mining in Bellary Reserve Forest area.