Farming on for 75 years, but defence authorities claim to have land records

More than 1,600 acres of land under dispute near the Nevali airstrip in Kalyan taluka of Thane district has been tilled by farmers for around 75 years.

Published: 23rd June 2017 01:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2017 01:48 AM   |  A+A-

Protests against the land acquired for the Navy project

By Express News Service

MUMBAI: More than 1,600 acres of land under dispute near the Nevali airstrip in Kalyan taluka of Thane district has been tilled by farmers for around 75 years. However, the Ministry of Defence has the
records for all the land in its name.

“We have been farming the land since the time of our forefathers. Yes, we too have heard that the land was acquired by the British government during World War II. But, our ancestors told us the land was returned to us after the war and since then we have been tilling it,” said Mathur Mhatre, president of the Shri
Malang gad Parisar Jamin Bachav Andolan Samiti, the farmers’ body that organised Thursday’s agitation.

However, commander Rahul Sinha, chief public relations officer (Defence), in a statement released in Mumbai said, “The land is owned by Ministry of Defence / Indian Navy and the State government land
records certify the same. The 7/12 extracts are held with Defence Estate Officer, Mumbai. The land was acquired by Ministry of Defence.”

“The Navy is constructing a peripheral boundary wall to protect and safeguard the defence land from further encroachment. The Maharashtra government is fully aware of the subject case and is providing police protection and support from state/ district administration and revenue authorities,” the statement
added.

“What was the defence department doing for the past 75 years? How do they term us encroachers while we have been tilling the land all these years,” questioned Mhatre. However, nobody seems to have any answer to queries raised by him or the other villagers. “We met Bhamre sahib last month in Mumbai to request him to look into our issue. He promised us that he would consider our case. But nothing happened after that. The people are angered at the prospect of losing their land,” Mhatre added.

Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre was in Dhule on Thursday when the agitation over the Nevali land turned violent. Speaking to the media, he said he has called a meeting of all the officers
concerned next week and reiterated his promise that the issue would be resolved amicably.
 

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp