Karnataka mining baron G Janardhan Reddy on Saturday appeared for questioning in the Crime Branch office in Bengaluru in connection with a bribery case. On Wednesday, the police had said Reddy was absconding.
The owner of a firm called Ambident Group, which has been accused of duping investors, has alleged that Reddy demanded Rs 18 crore to bail him out of a case. Reddy was a minister in the BS Yeddyurappa-led Bharatiya Janata Party government at the time. The money was allegedly converted to gold and handed over to Reddy’s close aide Ali Khan.
Earlier in the day, Reddy released a video message from an unidentified location in which he denied any wrongdoing, The Indian Express reported. “I have not committed anything wrong,” he said. “The police do not have not a single document to prove that I am wrong. They are misleading the media.”
The mining baron said he has not been named in any first information report. “Now that the notice has been issued by the police, I have decided to appear before the Central Crime Branch today itself though the notice says I should appear on Sunday,” he said. Reddy claimed he had made the video to let people know the truth, and expressed confidence that the police would not “succumb to political pressure”.
On November 6, Reddy’s confidante J Shantha – former BJP minister B Sriramulu’s sister – lost the Ballari parliamentary bye-election. The Congress won the seat, which had previously been the BJP’s bastion. However, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Alok Kumar has denied any connection between the Congress’ victory and the inquiry.