84-year-old farmer Dharma Patil, who had consumed poison outside the Maharashtra secretariat in Mumbai on 22 January has died posing serious questions to the commitment of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis towards farmers in the state.
Dharma, who died at the JJ Hospital on Sunday night, was demanding a better compensation for his 5-acre land, which had 600 mango trees and a well. He was paid just Rs 4 lakh by the state government. The government had allegedly forcibly acquired his land for a solar plant.
“Patil’s postmortem was conducted at the J J Hospital. His body will be handed over to his family later,” officials were quoted by news agency PTI.
His death evoked angry reactions from activists, who asked Fadnavis if Rs 4 lakh was really an adequate compensation. Activist Anjali Damania wrote, “84 yr old farmer Dharma has breathed his last at JJ Hosp. Dharma consumed poison at Mantralaya on 22nd to protest forcible acquisition of 4 acre land which had 600 mango trees & a well. He was given a compensation of 4 L Devendra Fadnavis, is 4 L really enough?”
84 yr old farmer Dharma has breathed his last at JJ Hosp. Dharma consumed poison at Mantralaya on 22nd to protest forcible acquisition of 4 acre land which had 600 mango trees & a well. He was given a compensation of 4 L@Dev_Fadnavis is 4L really enough? pic.twitter.com/JPUmXPo1Uo
— Mrs Anjali Damania (@anjali_damania) January 29, 2018
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde said despite the farmer killing himself in Mantralaya, “the government did not feel like giving him justice”.
“Only this government is to be blamed for the farmer’s death,” PTI quoted the NCP leader as saying.
Patil’s son too has reportedly threatened to commit suicide.
“My father got only Rs 4 lakh compensation for his five acres of land. He said the octogenarian had been visiting the state administrative headquarters here for the last three months to complain about the inadequate compensation for his land, but when nothing happened, he took the extreme step,” the farmer’s son was quoted by Times Now.