Members of the Thakar community residing in Induri village in Maval taluka 45 km from the city, woke up to find that soil had been unearthed from their burial ground and human bones lying exposed at the site. The issue has irked the locals and they have demanded that the police investigate the matter and are preparing to file a complaint at the Talegaon Dabhade police station.
The burial ground located on the fringe of the village is adjacent to a 9-acre lake and according to information given by members of the community, the gram panchayat of the village decided to de-silt the water body three months ago.
“A decision was made at the gram sabha that farmers could take the silt dredged from the lake for farming purposes,” said Shivaji Thakar, a members of the Thakar community.
He claimed that the idea behind the decision was to clean up the lake so that it could be used for boating purposes in future.
“The revenue department decided to bear costs for the JCB and other equipment used for de-silting the lake, while and it was decided that the farmers would bear the cost for transporting the silt to their fields,” Shivaji said.
Shivaji alleged that since the past three months, people from his village as well as other villages started excavating the fertile silt with the use of JCB machines and two days ago, some unidentified persons targeted the burial ground during the night.
“When we saw the grounds in the morning, many bones were on the surface. It was a great shock for us and we are hurt. We will lodge complaint with the police as well as with the tehsildar office at Maval,” Shivaji said.
Avinash Raut, who had helped the community to re-bury the unearthed remains, claims he was targeted for his efforts by village sarpanch Pradip Kasid.
“As a villager, I decided to help the community to cover the exposed remains with soil, using my JCB machines and trucks, but Kasid accused me of stealing soil from the burial ground,” Raut said.
Thakar, who supports Raut’s claim, said, “He had come forward to help us, but the sarpanch made allegations against him.” When contacted, Dattatray Thombre, tehsildar of Maval said, “I will send the circle officer of Maval to investigate the matter and those behind the act will be punished.”
Senior Police Inspector of Talegaon police station, Sanjay Nikam said that they would be visiting the spot today morning.
Kasid could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.