Pravin Gavankar,founder of the Janhit Seva Samiti (JSS),which has been protesting against the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant (JNPP) project,died Thursday afternoon at Madban village in Ratnagiri.
After spearheading protests against the project for over six years,Gavankar had decided to accept a compensation of about Rs 12 crore for the 52 hectares his family owns in Madban,one of the project-affected villages in Ratnagiri district. His family had earlier said there were 32 claimants to the compensation amount.
The 60-year-old Gavankar was suffering from lung cancer. “He had been critical for the last few days and his son and daughter had come down from Mumbai,” said Milind Desai,a close family friend and a resident of Mithgavane village,also a project-affected village.
On August 30,Gavankar and a few others met Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane and told him they were willing to drop their opposition to the project,which angered other JSS members,who said their agitation would continue.
Gavankar,who was admitted at the Tata Memorial Hospital (Parel) in October,had told The Indian Express then that while he was still against the Jaitapur project,he was sick and not in a position to lead the agitation.
“It’s a sad news. But we continue to maintain that what he did was wrong. He led the protests,took it to a great height and then suddenly backed out. We felt betrayed,” said an anti-Jaitapur project activist.