Yeddyurappa says no to CBI probe on illegal mining

      Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on Friday said there is no question of a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the Reddy brothers mining operations. Talking to reporters after meeting State Governor HR Bhardwaj, Yeddyurappa said that a probe by the central agency will only delay the progress made so far by the State authorities. Rejecting Opposition's demand for a CBI probe, Yeddyurappa said he invited them instead to join a delegation headed by him to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to press for a total ban on iron ore exports "I have decided to lead a delegation to Manmohan Singh either on July 17 or July 18 to plead for a ban on export of iron ore, which is a solution to end illegal mining," he added. He also alleged that the Opposition's main aim was to stall proceedings and that both parties have united on the mining issue for this purpose. Yeddyurappa's meeting with the State's Governor comes in the wake of continued protest by the Opposition Congress and JD(S) legislators demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged illegal mining activities. The Reddy brothers are facing allegations of illegal mining of iron ores by encroaching upon a large chunk of forestland in the area causing huge damage to the environment. Earlier, the apex court had appointed a Survey of India (SoI) panel to conduct a detailed mapping of the three mines of the Reddy brothers. The SoI submitted its report, saying mining should not be allowed till a fresh demarcation of the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border is complete. The Survey of India panel had given its nod to Reddy's 68.5-hectare iron ore mine, asserting that there was no major encroachment. The panel said that of the 68.5 hectares, only 66 hectares could be mined. The remaining 2.5 hectares were set aside for road construction. The panel found the Reddys mining all 68.5 hectares.

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