The family of a farmer, who died after attempting suicide, have refused to accept his body until the Maharashtra government accepts their demands for adequate compensation for his land, PTI reported. The 84-year-old from Dhule had attempted suicide to protest against the low returns offered by the state government in exchange for his land acquired for a solar power plant.
Dharma Patil died at JJ Hospital in South Mumbai on January 28 after consuming poison outside the Maharashtra Secretariat on January 22. The family have also demanded a “martyred status” for the farmer. Former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan demanded a judicial investigation into the matter.
Dharma Patil’s son, Narendra, told reporters that his father was given Rs four lakh as compensation for five acres of land. The family has refused the government’s offer of Rs 15 lakh as assistance, PTI reported. Narendra Patil is staging a protest outside JJ Hospital.
Meanwhile, the Opposition have accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government of being responsible for his death. Leader of Opposition in the legislative council Dhananjay Munde and state Congress chief Ashok Chavan claimed that the land acquisition process in Dhule was tainted by a scam. “Buying land at a cheap price and delaying the land acquisition process so that middlemen and politically influential people get time to buy the land at low rate have been the modus operandi in the past few years,” Chavan told Hindustan Times.
The state has announced a re-evaluation of Patil’s land within 30 days, the daily reported. Adequate compensation will be granted to the farmer’s family after the re-evaluation is done, State Energy Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said.