The Mandya District Police on Sunday arrested Karnataka mining baron and former minister Gali Janardhana Reddy's aide and Karnataka Administrative Service officer Bheema Naik for alleged money laundering. Naik's driver had left a suicide note accusing him of having helped Reddy launder money to be used in the mining baron's daughter's wedding.
Naik, who has also been accused of abetment to suicide, was arrested along with his current driver, Gulbarga, on Sunday morning. K C Ramesh Gowda, the KAS officer's former driver, had killed himself on Tuesday after leaving a suicide note where he alleged that his life was in danger because he knew about Naik helping Reddy to launder money for his daughter's wedding.
The suicide note also mentioned that Naik helped Reddy convert Rs 100 crore into new notes and also kept a 20 percent commission on them.
Reddy was a minister in the BJP-government led by BS Yeddyurappa before he was removed in 2011 following corruption charges. His daughter's wedding, which was attended by 50,000 guests including politicians across parties, had made international headlines for the enormous amount of money (Rs. 30 crore to Rs. 50,000 crore) spent on it at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced his decision to demonetise currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 in an attempt to curb the black money menace.
The issue was also raised by the Opposition parties in Parliament as to how Reddy was being able to legally clear all payments of the wedding when the entire country was dealing with the massive cash crunch caused due to PM Modi's move to demonetise high-value currency notes.