The district revenue department has started the process of seizing the surplus land owned by Kisan Rathod at Shindewadi. Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) of Bhor Sanjay Aswale said that the department would initially trace exactly how much surplus land Rathod owned and then seize it.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and district administration has earlier accused Rathod of damaging natural water currents, which led to water logging near Katraj Tunnel, which caused a woman and her child to get washed during rains on June 6.
“Along with the land seizing process, I also asked the Bhor and Velha taluka tehsildars to submit the report on Monday over the threatening letter Rathod sent to Wangni gram panchayat officials,” said Aswale.
The gram panchayat officials had written a letter to Rathod after the tragic incident on June 6, over the land he owned in Shindewadi. However, according to officials, Rathod shot back a letter saying officials lacked knowledge and were not worthy of holding higher posts. Rathod also threatened to take criminal action against the officials.
“We think that grazing fields for villagers has been acquired by Rathod. Officials of the gram panchayat wanted a declaration of property owned by Rathod,” said sarpanch of Wangni gram panchayat, Uttam Wadghare.
He added that after collecting all related documents proving Rathod acquired grazing fields the officials would lodge a complaint with the Velha police station.
Meanwhile, the revenue department has initiated a magistrate’s inquiry over the death of the mother and her daughter. “The district collectorate has given me the responsibility of the inquiry and I will submit the report to the district collector Vikas Deshmukh as soon as possible,” said Aswale.
Land-ing in trouble
According to Maharashtra Agriculture Lands (ceiling on holding) Act 1961, no person can purchase over 56 acres of land. If anyone purchases land above the limit, the surplus would be acquired by the state government. Sources claim that Rathod has hundreds of acres of land in Shindewadi and adjoining areas.