The case of the Missing Ore.

Not 1 or 2 truckloads, but literally tens of thousands of truckloads of iron ore is transported from Bellary in Karnataka on forged mining & transport permits to state run Belikeri port, is stored there, and then is seized by the office of Lokayukta  and Department of Forests, seizure order is given to Department of Customs in charge of the port pending investigation; yet 500,000 tons of Iron ore simply vanishes into thin air. This can only happen in Incredible India. Instead of supporting vigorously the investigation into such fantastic para-normal phenomenon, the state minister of ports, Krishna Palemar, launches a witch hunt by seeking suspension of Deputy Conservator of Forests on some frivolous grounds. Lokayukta, ex-Supreme Court judge N Santhosh Hegde, cannot stomach this miscarriage of justice and resigns in protest. Chief Minister B S Yeddiyyurappa, he charges, has been shielding corrupt officials, harassing honest officials involved in investigating corruption, and is allowing the pendency of cases to build to staggering 8000nos.
Next day Yeddiyyurappa said that BJP government was “thankful” for the work done by Justice Hegde, but would not like to “embarrass” him by asking reconsideration of his decision. Yeddiyyurappa is a very sensitive man, remember he was brought to tears by the Reddy brothers – the Mining Marauders  of Bellary – a few months back, and said he is pained by Lok Ayukta’s exit
P Chidambaram (PC), the Union Home Minister, was a worried man. He thought Hegde’s resignation would encourage corrupt elements in Karnataka where the BJP is ruling presently. Hegde didn’t accommodte PC’s request to stay on, but PC could, if he is sincere, easily use the services of this upright and well qualified man in probing & prosecuting the allegations of atrocities committed by state security forces, Salwa Judum, and the Maoists in the ongoing operation green hunt.
Assistant Conservator of Forests, Karwar, N Hittalamakki, who was probing the miraculous disappearance of 500,000 tons of Iron ore has been transferred. Deputy Conservator of Forests, R Gokul, in the meanwhile has filed an application in Karnataka High Court seeking suspension of iron ore exports from three key ports : Mangalore, Karwar & Belikeri.

Justice Hegde has estimated that some three million tons of iron ore has been illegally mined, transported and exported from Karnataka in 2009-2010 alone. That is Rs. twelve (12) billion worth of national wealth has been plundered with gay abundance. But neither the state nor the central government considers corruption, which allows such loot to take place, the gravest threat posed to national well being.

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