84-year-old Maharashtra farmer who attempted suicide at Mantralaya in Mumbai dies
Son refuses to accept body, sits in protest outside JJ hospital in south Mumbai
Farmer Dharma Patil, 84, who had consumed a poisonous chemical outside Mantralaya last Monday as a protest against the inadequate compensation given by the Maharashtra government for land acquired by a power project, died at Mumbai’s JJ hospital late on Sunday.
His son Narendra Patil has refused to accept his body to conduct the final rites until compensation due for their land is given and his father is conferred the status of a “martyr farmer”. He is now sitting in protest outside JJ hospital in south Mumbai.
Patil, a resident of Sindhkhed Raja in Dhule district in northern Maharashtra, drank poison outside Mantralaya on January 22 after he made rounds of various offices at the state headquarters in Mumbai and failed to get assurance about higher compensation.
The farmer received a compensation of Rs4 lakh for five acres of land that the state government acquired for a solar power project in the district. However, farmers who had to give up land adjoining his plot got higher compensation than Patil.
Patil was admitted first to St George’s hospital on Monday evening and later shifted to JJ hospital; he was in a critical condition since admission.
The Opposition has slammed the state government for its insensitivity towards distressed farmers. Leaders of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Dhananjay Munde said this is a death caused by the government’s policies. “The state government is solely responsible for his death,” NCP leader Munde said.
Last week, Jaykumar Rawal, state tourism minister and guardian minister of Dhule,had said that the difference in compensation was because of a change in government policies during land acquisition. The state had also offered Patil financial assistance of Rs15 lakh, but his son had refused to accept it.