Case against Army officer for allegedly damaging crop
Pune, June 25: A case has been registered against an Army officer for allegedly damaging crop on a disputed agricultural land in his village in Maharashtra with the help of armed soldiers.
The case was registered at the Khed police station after a complaint by a woman, who said the officer, a Colonel in the Army, damaged crop on the land located in Pune's Khed district, the police said.
A police officer said the Colonel's brother and Sunil Bharne, a relative of the complainant, are fighting over the ownership of the land in Gulani village, and the matter is pending before the sub-divisional magistrate, Khed.
Bharne, whose name is on the 7/12 extract of the land, had sowed soybean in the field.
"On June 22, the Colonel, posted at Hyderabad, took 30 to 40 armed soldiers in uniform - who came in four Army trucks - to the disputed land, and in their presence, ploughed the land using a tractor and damaged the crop," the police officer said quoting the complaint.
The complainant claimed that the Colonel tried to intimidate her relatives by taking the soldiers through the village.
While the Colonel is posted in Hyderabad, the soldiers had allegedly come from Nashik, the police officer said.
He said a relative of the Colonel had sold the land to Bharne a few years ago but the Army officer''s family members objected to the deal and said that since the land was an ancestral property, it should be distributed equally among themselves, and filed a suit in civil court.
"The case (outcome) is pending. As the court has not granted any stay on the matter, Bharne was cultivating the land which was opposed by the family members of the Colonel, leading to escalation of the dispute," the officer said.
Sources in the Army's Pune-based Southern Command said they are verifying the incident.
The Colonel has been booked along with 30 to 40 soldiers under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 144 (joining unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon), and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) of the Indian Penal Code, the police said.