Prez retirement home: Ex-servicemen protest

Retired defence personnel stage agitation outside collector's office against decision to allot land reserved for jawans to Pratibha Patil 

Demonstrating displeasure over the lower court's verdict to allot land in Khadki to President Prathiba Patil, former defence officials staged a protest outside the District Collectors office yesterday. The land that ex-servicemen claim is reserved for retired army jawans is the proposed plot for the President's retirement home.

Up in arms: Retd Col Suresh Patil (wearing goggles) and others protest
under the banner of Green Thumb Environmental Protection Group before
the District Collector's office yesterday. The protesters beat up an effigy
of 'corrupt army officers'. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

Col Suresh Patil (Retd), who led the demonstration under the banner of Green Thumb Environmental Protection Group, said, "We are filing a PIL against the court's decision. When the President has residential properties in Jalgaon and Amravati, why should this land be allotted to her?"

Patil and 30 ex-servicemen have submitted a memorandum to the Resident District Collector, Anil Patil's office. They demanded the copy of the letter be sent to the President, the Union Defence Minister and the Home Minister. Earlier, the group of retired army officials had staged an agitation outside the Collector's office by throwing chappals at a symbolic effigy with names of corrupt defence officials.

Among the retired protesters were Col Gulabrao Jadhav, Major Ashok Sartape, Col Anand Vishal Gadge and Jahangir Mulla. Also, the Green Thumb Environment Group has demanded that the Jan Lokpal bill include the President. The members said that except for divulging operational details, it should include the army as well.

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