Memorandum with 3,000 signatures given to Prez over Khadki land

Ex-servicemen from army, navy and air force join hands to request President to allot land to widows of deceased soldiers

As part of a nationwide signature campaign, ex-servicemen from the army, navy and the air force submitted a memorandum to the President Pratibha Patil yesterday at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, requesting her not to use the Khadki land with twin bungalows as her retirement home.

Gaining momentum: Retired Lt Colonel Suresh Patil (in black) at the
start of the signature campaign in September. The campaign has even
spread to Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttaranchal. File pic

City founder and president of Green Thumb Environmental Protection Group, Lt Colonel Suresh Patil along with Brigadier Bhagwan Singh, Lt General Raj Kadian, Colonel Indrajeet Singh, Brigadier Sharad Luktuke, Commander Ravi Pathak, Colonel Kenu Patankar and Hawaldar Pandurang Patil, all who are 1971 Indo-Pak war veterans, submitted the memorandum to Officer on Special Duty to the President, Jai Rajan. The memorandum has 3,000 attested signatures of ex-servicemen from all defence establishments in the country. Even Delhi based Indian Ex-Servicemen Movement (IESM) has joined the cause.

The army men in the letter urged the President to assist the widows of deceased soldiers and other homeless soldiers in city, by giving away the land at Khadki, which now has a bungalow for her retirement home  "There are 210 widows in the city, who are living in the pathetic conditions. The president's proposed home can be a better alternative for them as they have always hoped for a better place. These requests have been stated in the letter," Colonel Suresh Patil said.

Patil added that they have also asked for a second option to allot the land to the homeless jawans. "The president can get any land in city from the state government or can stay at any hill station peacefully. She can even live at the Rajbhavan in the city, Mumbai or Nagpur, which is usually vacant all round the year," Patil said.
 Hawaldar Patil said, "I am glad that our request for the Khadki land and twin bungalows is gaining some momentum. I believe the President will certainly give us a positive response. The signature campaign has spread all over India including Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttaranchal."

Course of action in Khadki land issue
September 6: A rally from city railway station to the Collector's office.
September 15: Submits three copies of petition to the District Collector. For the President, governor of the state and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
October 1: Movement with hoardings and banner near Dr Ambedkar Statue.
October 4: Submits his written statement on the inquiry of the Khadki land to ACP K S Suryawanshi at Khadki.
October 15: Signature campaign commences

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