CBI searches 25 places of former TDP lawmaker in AP in illegal mining case

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday searched 25 places including the premises of former Telugu Desam Party lawmaker Yarapathineni Srinivasa Rao in connection with an ongoing investigation into alleged illegal limestone mining case.

Searches were conducted in various places including those in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana’s Hyderabad belonging to Rao and others in connection with the case, the CBI said in a statement.

“During searches, several incriminating documents, mobile phones, material objects and cash have been recovered,” the CBI note said.

Rao, who represented Gurajala assembly constituency in Guntur district, has been facing allegations of irregularities in obtaining licenses for limestone mining.

After coming to power in May 2019, the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government ordered investigation by Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the state police. Later, the state government wrote to the Centre seeking a CBI probe into the allegations against the former TDP MLA.

“In pursuance of the notification issued by the Andhra Pradesh government and further notification issued by Department of Personnel and Training of Government of India, the CBI has taken over 17 cases of illegal limestone mining from CID and registered a case on August 26, 2020 against 17 accused,” the statement said.

It was alleged that the accused had fraudulently conducted illegal and unauthorized mining, quarrying and transportation of limestone in Konanki village of Piduguralla Mandal, Kesanupalli and Nadikudi Villages of Dachepalli Mandal, Guntur District for several years.

They allegedly caused revenue loss to the state government and other licensed lease holders, and also exploited the natural resources.

It was further alleged that illegal mining of several lakh of tons of limestone was conducted by the accused during the period from 2014 to 2018, as a result of which, natural resources worth several crore of rupees have been plundered.

“In order to ascertain the quantum of unauthorized and illegal mining, CBI is also conducting volumetric analysis by using satellite imagery. Investigation is continuing,” the CBI release said.

Rao could not be reached for comment on the CBI searches.

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