Farmer Dharma Patil's death: Security personnel suspect poison was given to him
Security personnel suspect he did not consume a chemical substance in Mantralaya, it was probably given to him without his knowledge
Dharma Patil was fighting to get adequate compensation
Even as the state chief secretary has been asked to probe the entire episode that culminated in the tragic death of a Dhule farmer, Dharma Patil, the police are trying to find if he was administered a dose of poison, possibly a heavy metal, before he came to Mantralaya on January 22. Sources said security personnel suspect that the octogenarian did not consume a chemical substance at Mantralaya, where he had come to meet ministers, but he could have been given it unknowingly through tea or coffee. The chemical analysis of the substance consumed hasn't yet come, but the security personnel on duty recall that the victim did not froth at the mouth, as usually happens when one consumes a pesticide or a similar poison. The officials are verifying CCTV footage of the victim's movement, and the behaviour of the people who accompanied him that day.
Chinks in security detail
It has also come to light that most of the scanners in Mantralaya don't work, and it is becoming increasingly difficult for the police to verify the stuff visitors carry. There is laxity when the CM and ministers are not in their offices. "Water bottles are not allowed and medicines are verified, but people find ways to smuggle in the stuff they want. Photo passes are issued to all visitors and they are frisked, but verifying the stuff becomes difficult at times," said a senior official.
CS to submit report
On Tuesday, CM Fadnavis, who had ordered a probe on Monday, asked Chief Secretary Sumit Mullick to probe a series of developments, from 2009 to Patil's death, and submit a report at next week's cabinet meeting. At Monday's cabinet meeting, Shiv Sena minister Diwakar Raote had raised the issue and asked for an explanation. "I have asked for action against the officials who denied Dharma Patil adequate compensation for his land. I have been hearing what the previous government did. But it is true that we came to power only because they failed. The entire episode has defamed the government," he told media persons at Mantralaya after the meeting.
BJP minister Sudhir Mungantiwar slammed the Sena for politicising the issue through mouthpiece Saamna. "When Patil's son said that there was need for politicising his father's death then why is Sena doing it?" he asked.
Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from Mid-day.comSubscribe