Col (retd) Patil has come under intense pressure from various quarters trying to force him into shelving his campaign against the defence land allotment to President Pratibha Patil.
But even in the face of growing resistance from the Pune-based estate authorities, the support base for Patil and retired defence officials Ravindra Phatak and Anoop Awasti — who have teamed up to crusade against the alleged irregularities in the defence A1 land allotment made to the outgoing President for her post-retirement home — is fast widening in Pune and other parts of the country.
As a consequence of the information unearthed by him and two of his colleagues through RTI queries, Patil is allegedly facing a reprisal from the officials in the Southern Command’s Defence Estate Office (DEO).
In a complaint of trespass lodged with the Wanowrie Police Station in Pune’s cantonment area on April 17, the retired Colonel alleged that while he was away in Mumbai on April 16, two Army personnel barged into his residence at 4, Nehru Marg, Pune Cantonment, “behaved rudely with my wife” and “took measurements of my office, residence and car park”.
Meanwhile, the Pune circle Defence Estate Office has gone to town claiming that an inspection conducted by it has revealed that Patil has indulged in “seven unauthorised constructions” on a 1,694 sq ft in his cantonment residence.
It has announced that it was writing to the Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) to initiate action against him.
The retired Colonel has been living in the outhouse of a bungalow owned by Major (retd) DV Panse since in retirement in August 1993.
“I live in the outhouse of Panse’s bungalow, which is a three-room place with open space having a lawn and a huge tamarind tree. The outhouse is in a dilapidated condition,” said Patil.
“The Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) has not bothered to carry out even minor repairs to plug leakage from the roof. I haven’t indulged into any illegal alterations or constructions to the original structure,” he said.
Dismissing the DEO’s claim, Patil said, “The DEO is trying tarnish my image and also harass me by making all kinds of flimsy allegations.
“I have not been able to buy a house for myself and do not own any property whatsoever, except a four-wheeler, a scooter and a couple of tolas of gold for my wife. My savings have always been spent for the good of the community and downtrodden,” said Patil.
“Since I have seen deaths from close quarters in 1971 war and having lost six brother officers and 67 men, I have decided to crudsade for serving and former Army officials,” the retired Colonel said.
“In nutshell, what I understand is that the Army authorities are trying to harass me and my family members, as I am the whistleblower in a land grab case of sorts by the Rashtrapati Bhavan in Khirkee,” Patil said.
-via The Pioneer