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Thursday, August 18, 2022

Maval: Witnesses say cops shot detained farmer thrice

Maharashtra govt suspends two policemen,NHRC seeks report within four weeks

Days after the death of 40-year-old Moreshwar Sathe in police firing during an agitation in Maval in Pune district against a pipeline project,two conflicting versions have emerged on not just how he was killed but also the number of bullets that had hit him.

When The Indian Express visited Sathe’s village Shivane in Maval on Friday,eyewitnesses said he was shot at with a revolver by a police inspector after some other cops pushed him out of a police van in which he was detained.

The villagers claimed three bullets were fired at him. However,the doctors who conducted the autopsy said only one bullet was found in the body. “He was first forced to go into the police van. After some time they took him out. I saw a police constable push him down from the van while an inspector shot at him,” said Vasant Garade,a milk vendor. “I saw them shoot him in the neck first,after which he fell down. Three bullets means it was an encounter. I can identify the inspector.”

Jalinder Deshmukh,another villager who went to claim Sathe’s body,said,“Three bullets were shot at him. One just below the neck,which also injured his cheek. Another was fired at his chest and the third just below that. How can a man get three bullets in him,that too at different places,if it is just random police firing?”

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While sources at the Sassoon hospital,where the autopsy was done,claimed only one bullet was found in the body,the primary autopsy report with the family members noted death was caused by bullets but did not mention the number.

SP (Pune rural) Sandeep Karnik said,“I have not seen the post-mortem report,but I feel this (three bullets) is not true.”

Sathe,a driver,had participated in the protest because he was told that the pipeline would take away clean water from the villagers’ share. He is survived by his 70-year-old mother Nababai,wife Ranjana,daughter Lalita,who is studying in Std XII,and son Akshay who is in Std IX.

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On Friday,the Maharashtra government suspended two police officers while the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to Pune Police Commissioner and sought a report.

Home Minister R R Patil told the Legislative Council that Inspector Ashok Patil and Sub-Inspector Ganesh

Mane had been suspended,a day after six constables attached to Pune rural police were suspended for “vandalising private vehicles” during the protest by farmers in Maval region,near Pune.

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Acting on a complaint,the NHRC asked the Pune Police Commissioner to file a report within four weeks.

Eight farmers,all from Kale village in Maval taluka,were also arrested for allegedly attacking policemen and damaging property during the protest. Five of them were apprehended on Thursday and three on Friday,police said.

A 70-member delegation of Opposition members of the Maharashtra Legislature led by Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Eknath Khadse also met Governor K Sankaranarayanan in Mumbai and demanded dismissal of the state government over the police action on Tuesday.

First published on: 13-08-2011 at 01:19:08 am
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