Even as the Special Investigation Team (SIT), led by DIG (Director Inspector General) rank officials, has begun the probe into the controversial illegal limestone mining in Guntur's Palnandu, Dachepalli, opposition leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy lashed out at CM Chandrababu Naidu.
Jagan, in an open letter, had stated that the handing over the case to CID is to cover up the facts. He further alleged that Chandrababu Naidu has given the case to CID, which is under his control, in order to protect the accused and portray the crime as a minor case of corruption.
While highlighting the graveness of the alleged illegal mining of limestone in the area, he said that the satellite evidence shows that one crore metric tonnes-worth mining has taken place since 2014.
Alleging that the mining mafia received backend support from Chandrababu Naidu and minister Nara Lokesh, Jagan said, "Every day, they exported limestone in thousands of lorries. When this big a scam is unfolding, should we assume that no one knows it? If MLA to Chinababu (Lokesh) and Pedababu (Chandrababu) were not part of this looting, would this have happened? This is only one of many lootings in the state."
While stating that there would be no fair investigation if the case is dealt with by CID, he also took a dig at Chandrababu's earlier comments following Cash for Vote Scam, where he reportedly said, "You have ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau), I have ACB; you have CID and we have CID; you have DGP and we too have DGP (Director General of Police)."
To this, Jagan said, “When he (Chandrababu) revealed that the CID is in his hands, isn't it mockery to handover the case such CID."
Jagan demanded that the CBI (Central Investigation Bureau) probe into the limestone mining. “The case must be given to CBI-like agencies, which will not play into the hands of the state government. Only then will the facts come out,” he said.
Allegations of illegal limestone mining in Guntur districts Palnadu, Gurajala and Dachepalli rocked the political landscape, with YSRCP stepping up protests demanding a probe.
In last week, several YSRCP leaders were kept under house arrest and saw preventive detentions in view of law and order situation.
In July, the Hyderabad High Court — responding to a PIL filed by former MLC TGV Krishna Reddy, YSRCP leader — issued notices to Yarapathineni Srinivasa Rao (Gurazala TDP MLA), Principal Secretaries of the Revenue and Mines departments, the District Collector and the SPs of Guntur and Guntur Rural. The court also directed the state government to submit a report on the investigation’s progress.