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Maha farmer’s death: Activist moves human rights body, NCP files complaint against minister

Dharma Patil, a farmer from Dhule, attempted suicide at Mantralaya for government’s failure to give out due compensation to his land that was taken away for a solar power project. He died at JJ Hospital on January 29.

mumbai Updated: Feb 01, 2018 00:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,human rights,NCP
Dharma Patil’s son shows his picture.(FILE)

A day after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a probe into the death of 84-year old farmer Dharma Patil, the government suffered more blows. While activists moved the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) seeking action against the state and its ministers, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) filed a complaint against tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal with the Lokayukta, alleging scam in purchase of the farm land.

Dharma Patil, a farmer from Dhule, attempted suicide at Mantralaya for government’s failure to give out due compensation to his land that was taken away for a solar power project. He died at JJ Hospital on January 29.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik moved the Lokayukta demanding an inquiry into the alleged purchase of land by Rawal, who is the guardian minister of Dhule, after the government expressed its intention to acquire the plot for a power project. Malik alleged the minister purchased 1.76 hectares for Rs2.83 lakh to get profits out of the compensation paid by the government. He alleged irregularities in land deals by Rawal family in 1999-2000, when farm land was being acquired for an irrigation project.

The state has acquired more than 400 hectares in Sindkheda in Dhule for a solar power project. The land in question is in the areas notified for the project.

Rawal filed a defamation case against Malik in a local court in Dondaicha in Dhule, about 320km from Mumbai. The minister said he bought the land so he could fight for the rights of project-affected persons in the proposed power project. “The deal was completed before the issuance of the notice for the acquisition and there is no wrongdoing in it,” he said.

In his complaint to the Lokayukta, Malik said, “Rawal, by utilizing the political might, has suppressed the CBI inquiry ordered by the authorities in the land deal scams. The minister and his family members have purchased tracks of land using the modus operandi and later skimmed hundreds of crores from the government. The Lokayukta should order an inquiry into the land deals by the Rawal family in the past 20 years.”

In their complaint to the SHRC, advocate and activist Asim Sarode and students from ILS Law College, Pune have demanded a compensation of Rs5 crore to the family of Dharma Patil. They have demanded formation of a fact-finding committee to examine the complaint and violation of human rights promised to citizens in the Constitution of India. “Dharma Patil’s death is the result of the government apathy and discriminatory treatment given to him by its agency while acquiring the land for its project. Government apathy compelled him to end his life,” the petition said.

First Published: Feb 01, 2018 00:06 IST