Free Press Journal

Nanar land acquisition: Fake documents used to show public consent?


Mumbai: During the adjournment motion moved in the assembly on Thursday at Nagpur, the Congress exposed the state government’s claim that people had been giving their consent to land acquisition for the Nanar petrochemical refinery project.

Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil displayed documents in the House showing how fake papers were prepared in the name of a landowner absconding for the past 20 years. Vikhe-Patil referred to reports published by The Free Press Journal, revealing how investors from a specific community from outside Maharashtra bought land at Nanar.

For the second day in a row, House proceedings were stalled. Vikhe-Patil demanded he be allowed an adjournment motion on the Nanar issue, saying project-affected people (PAPs) from Nanar had come to Nagpur for justice and hence, his motion should be accepted. In his opening speech, Vikhe-Patil said the government has been claiming people are ready to give their land for the project.

“However, government machinery and dalals (agents) are preparing fake documents painting a glossy picture about people’s support to the land acquisition process,” he said.

“According to police records, Maruti Manjrekar, a resident of Gothivare village in Rajapur tehsil of Ratnagiri district has been absconding for the past 20 years. Seizing this opportunity, Prasad Bhalekar, a resident of Satawali village became holder of power of attorney for the land (1.11 hectare) owned by Manjrekar and sold it to Rajeev Vaidya, a resident of Panvel, for Rs2.03 lakh,” said Vikhe-Patil, displaying a document in the House.

He added that an advocate, Ashwini Agashe, has registered a complaint in Rajapur police station regarding this fake sale deed agreement of the land.

Further, said Vikhe-Patil, people from outside Maharashtra had bought land at Nanar even after the notification for the project was issued. “These people are giving their land to the project. But locals have strongly opposed to this.”

He read out the names of those who had bought land — Mahendra Shah, Subhash Kedia, Vilas Kataria, Nandkishor Chandank and others.

“Of the 17 villages, which will be affected by the project, the sarpanchs (village chiefs) of 10 villages met me on Wednesday. All 17 villages are against the project. The district collector tried to hold a gram sabha (general assembly of all villagers) but withdrew it after strong opposition in the three villages,” Vikhe-Patil informed the House.

Both Houses adjourned

Nagpur: In the morning, before the House assembled, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party staged a dharna on the steps of the assembly. The opposition party has submitted an adjournment motion on the Nanar issue.

However, Shiv Sena members disrupted the House, shouted slogans during Vikhe-Patil’s speech and did not allow House proceedings. Speaker Haribhau Bagade was compelled to adjourn the House for the whole day.

In the Council, NCP moved the adjournment motion, which was rejected by the chairman. Due to a ruckus, the proceedings of the Upper House too were adjourned for the day.