Police have lodged a case against a senior Army Colonel and 40 other army soldiers for allegedly entering a farm, damaging crops and terrorising people using arms in a village in Maharashtra. The incident occurred in Rajguru Nagar in Pune when Colonel Kedar Gaikwad allegedly threatened the villagers over ancestral property in the area.
The complainant, Monika Ganesh Gade, who claims to be the owner of the land, filed an FIR against the officer on June 23. Accordingly, the police have booked an Army Colonel and “30 to 40 army personnel” under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 144 (joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon), and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code
Colonel Gaikwad’s father had bought 64 acres of land in a village near Pune, over which he indulged in a dispute with a villager named Sunil Bharne. According to Colonel Gaikwad’s father, Bharne had illegally occupied the land owned by him. However, Bharne claims that he had bought the land and has been using it for farming since long.
Going by the reports, a relative of the Colonel had sold the land to Bharne a few years ago but the Army officer’s family members objected to the deal and said that since the land was an ancestral property, it should be distributed equally among themselves, and filed a suit in civil court. The case (outcome) is pending.
Bharne, whose name is on the 7/12 extract of the land, had sowed soybean in the field.
“On June 22, the Colonel, posted at Hyderabad, took 30 to 40 armed jawans in uniform – who came in four Army trucks -to the disputed land, and in their presence, ploughed the land using a tractor and damaged the crop,” the police officer said quoting the complaint.
It has been alleged in the complaint that the Colonel used his whole battalion for the purpose. The battalion has been accused of indulging in fistfight with the villager who had fought with the Colonel’s father.