In one of its biggest operations, the income tax department today searched about 60 premises in Karnataka owned by state revenue minister G Karunakara Reddy and his younger brother, tourism minister G Janardhana Reddy, as well as people close to them – including health minister B Sriramulu Reddy, whose residence in Bangalore was raided.
The premises of BJP MLAs B Nagendra and T H Suresh Babu, in Bangalore as well as their home towns, also came under the scanner. Searches were also conducted in the rooms allotted to the two in the Legislators Home in Bangalore. Both MLAs are considered close to the Reddy brothers. The residence of the two bothers' advocate in the city was also searched.
The Reddy brothers, rich iron ore miners, are under a cloud with allegations of illegal mining and export of iron ore. Nagendra represents Kudligi and Suresh Babu was elected from Kampli, both in the iron ore rich district of Bellary, the political stronghold of the Reddy brothers.
According to reports, a large number of documents have been seized, and the bank accounts of the Reddy associates have been frozen.
''About 100 officials are involved in conducting the search operations in Bangalore, Bellary and Hospet,'' a spokesperson of the IT department said. However, she declined to confirm whether documents have been seized during the searches.
The Reddy brothers own Obulapuram Mining Co, and have become billionaires after entering the mining business about 10 years ago. They consider Sriramulu to be a part of their family. Suresh Babu is Sriramulu's kin.