MUMBAI: Farmers in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra today claimed that fugitive jeweller Nirav Modi, prime accused in the alleged Rs 11,400 crore Punjab National Bank fraud, had acquired their lands at less than prevailing rates.
A group of over 200 farmers, who arrived in bullock carts at the tract of land at Khandala in Karjat tehsil, ploughed a part of it using a tractor as a symbolic reclaiming of possession.
They will start cultivation on the full 125 acres of the acquired land soon, farmers said.
Today's protest was meant to show that farmers have reclaimed their land, which was acquired on behalf of Nirav Modi's Firestar company some years ago, they said.
The land is among the properties attached by the Enforcement Directorate as a part of its probe against Modi who has fled the country, said a farmer activist.
Protesting farmers also carried the tricolour and portraits of King Shivaji and Dr B R Ambedkar.
They carried the banner of 'Kaali Aai Mukti Sangram', a local farmers' organisation.
"The land was acquired from farmers at around Rs 15,000 per acre, whereas the government rate for land compensation in the area is around Rs 20 lakh per acre now," lawyer and activist Karbhari Gawli, who was part of today's protest, told PTI over phone from Ahmednagar.
A police official from the Karjat police station said no "untoward incident" was reported from Khandala village today.