The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited in 2012 had acquired Patil’s five-acre farmland
Mumbai: The Marine Drive police station is analysing CCTV footage of the sixth floor and other areas of the Mantralaya (Maharashtra secretariat) to ascertain the exact spot where the 84-year-old farmer Dharma Patil consumed a poisonous chemical on January 22. The farmer had consumed the poison after he could not meet ministers to discuss the issue of inadequate compensation given to him for his land. The police, which had registered an accidental death report (ADR), has summoned the deceased’s son Narendra Patil and a few others to record their statements on Thursday.
A police source said, “The probe will establish the facts, whether the farmer drank the poison on his own or there was a foul play.” Patil, who was rushed by the police to St George Hospital, was then shifted to JJ Hospital where he died on Sunday night. The police said it has sent his blood samples for chemical analysis and expects to receive the report within a week. The report would help the police to identify the poison consumed by the farmer. On Monday, Patil’s family refused to accept his body till 2.30 pm but later relented after getting assurances from the state government that it will look into their demands.
A Marine Drive police officer said, “We are investigating the people who saw him on the sixth floor. We are also examining the CCTV footages of the floor to ascertain the details like when he consumed the chemical and whether he had carried it or taken it from someone.” Senior police inspector Vilas Gangawane of Marine Drive police station said, “We are investigating the matter, and soon we will get to the conclusion.”
Patil’s son Narendra has claimed that the compensation given to them by the government for five-acre land in 2012 was less than what their neighbours received. The Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited in 2012 had acquired Patil’s five-acre farmland.
The family left for Dhule around 3.30 pm on Monday with Patil’s body. Patil was a native of Sindhkheda in Dhule. A police officer said, “We will record statements of his son and a few other people who accompanied Dharma Patil to Mantralaya. As they have gone to their village, we have given them two days time to come back and give the statement.”