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'Donate Khadki' refrain to greet President in city

Ex-servicemen to organise agitation at Raj Bhawan during Pratibha Patil's visit to city

Under the banner of Green Thumb Environmental Protection Group, Justice for Jawans, an Ex-servicemen Anti Corruption Forum, are demanding that President Pratibha Patil donate the controversial Khadki land allotted for her retirement home. The agitations shall be made at Raj Bhawan.


Won't give up: Lt Col Suresh Patil (Retd) with a memorandum
submitted to Rashtrapati Bhawan in Delhi. Pic/Krunal Gosavi


President Patil will be in the city for four days from November 30 to December 3 and will be staying at Raj Bhawan near Pune Vidyapeeth. Two days she will be staying with her daughter at her bungalow in Baner.
She will also inaugurate a programme at Hotel Marriott and DSK Supinfocom International Campus in Pimple Saudagar.

Lt Col Suresh Patil (Retd), managing trustee of Green Thumb Environmental Protection Group, which is fighting to get back the disputed land from President Patil, recently visited Delhi and submitted a written memorandum signed with over 3,000 signatures by various ex-servicemen organisations in the country.

"This is a good opportunity; we will be able to submit our memorandum to Patil herself during her visit to the city. Our demand is that she donate the land she is getting for her retirement home in Khadki," he said. "We understand she will also pay a visit to the Khadki land during her stay. Our organisation shall protest at the Khadki land area. Our demonstrations shall be peaceful and non-violent."

Babasaheb Patil, president, Chhava Group, said: "The demand to leave the Khadki land for homeless jawans is just. We are all with Col Patil for this cause and will join him during the agitation in city." Jahangir Mulla from Justice for Jawans said over 60 per cent of ex-servicemen was still living in slum-like situation. "As the head of Army, Navy and Air Force, we are urging President madam to donate the land for the benefit of retired jawans and widows of deceased soldiers," he said.

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