The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) to look into the death and riot, which had occurred over a fight in fetching drinking water.
And the move by the apex rights body came on a petition filed by senior counsel and activist Radhakanta Tripathy. It said that the acute water shortage in Ahmednagar district had led to fights among the locals resulting in injuries to several of them.
According to the petition, a man called Pund, a local resident, had pushed his younger brother into a well following a dispute over procuring water. And the March 16 incident had led to the death of the victim.
With Maharashtra tottering on the brink of a major water crisis as a result of the severe drought that has gripped several parts of the state, mainly Beed, Nanded, Parbhani, Jalna, Aurangabad, Nashik and Satara, the Prithviraj Chauhan-led Congress-NCP Government has directed the state police to brace for possible large-scale public unrest. But despite this, Maharashtra is scheduled to host 16 fixtures in the ongoing IPL-6, which would require at least 3 lakh litres of water for the pitches at the match venues.
And Radhakanta drew the NHRC’s attention to the fact that 48 lakh litres of water will be needed for ground maintenance alone.
Moreover, it was alleged that the state government did not initiate efforts to tackle the situation and ensure sufficient water to 1,633 villages and 4,490 hamlets hit by the drought.
He also requested the NHRC to dispatch a fact-finding mission to the worst hit areas and direct the state government to ensure the availability of adequate water to the local population.