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Rajagopal sent to judicial custody till Nov 25

The CBI Special Court on Monday remanded former AP mining director VD Rajagopal to judicial custody till November 25.

Rajagopal, accused No 3 in the Obulapuram Mining Corporation illegal mining case, was produced before the court on Monday by the Central Bureau of Investigation after the end of its one week custody. He was arrested by the CBI on Nov 14 on the charges of having connived with former Karnataka minister and owner of OMC Gali Janardhan Reddy in looting mineral resources. He was produced before the court on Nov 15 and on the same day the Special CBI Court allowed the CBI to keep him in custody till Nov 21 (Monday) for further questioning.

Following court’s order, the CBI shifted Rajagopal to the Chanchalguda Central Prison.

Rajagopal was the Director of Mines Department from 2005 to 2010. He was questioned by the CBI several times to ascertain his role in granting leases and licenses to the OMC and other mining companies in violation of rules. The CBI is also likely to name him in the alleged illegal assets case of Kadapa MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. After his arrest, the CBI told the court that he had granted limestone mines to Penna Cement, which had allegedly made quid pro quo investments in Jagati Publications, owned by Jagan.

It was during Rajagopal’s tenure as the Director Mines when leases were granted to the Bharati Cement, co-owned by Jagan, for limestone mining. Later, the company was sold to French conglomerate Vicat for a high premium.

Rajagopal is the third accused to be arrested in the case registered by the CBI against the OMC in 2009. Besides Gali Janardhan Reddy, the CBI also arrested his brother-in-law and OMC managing director BV Srinivas Reddy on September 5. Presently, both are lodged in Chanchalguda Central Jail.

Presently, the CBI is also questioning another IAS officer Srilakshmi, who was mining secretary during 2007 when the OMC mining leases for 68.95 hectare were renewed. (INN)

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