Maharashtra Farmers "Reclaim" Land Bought By Nirav Modi Firm: Report

Farmers in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar allege that Nirav Modi's firm bought the land from them in 2013 at rates way below the market prices

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Maharashtra Farmers 'Reclaim' Land Bought By Nirav Modi Firm: Report

Farmers ploughed part of the land, a symbolic move to reclaim possession

New Delhi:  Claiming that a firm owned by celebrity jeweller Nirav Modi, the main accused in a multi-crore bank fraud who has quit India, had acquired their land at throwaway prices, a group of farmers today "reclaimed" 250 acres in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra today, according to news agency PTI.

Around 200 farmers, including women, who arrived in bullock carts at the land in Khandala village, ploughed a part of it using tractors -- a symbolic move of reclaiming possession.

The protesting farmers, who carried the national flags besides photographs of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr BR Ambedkar, raised slogans against Nirav Modi who faces allegations of defrauding state-run Punjab National Bank to the tune of over Rs 13,000 crore.

The land is among the properties attached by the Enforcement Directorate as a part of its probe against Modi who has fled the country, said a farmer activist, according to the PTI report.

Shouting slogans against the billionaire designer, who is being probed by several Indian agencies, the protesters carried the banner of 'Kaali Aai Mukti Sangram', a local farmers' organisation.

"The land was acquired by Nirav Modi's company in 2013. Farmers were paid between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 per acre though the prevailing market rate was Rs 2 lakh per acre," said a farmer.

The protesters also voiced their disillusionment against the banking system, alleging that while farmers had to struggle hard to get loans, people like Nirav Modi got it quite easily.

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"When we seek loans, banks are not willing to give beyond Rs 10,000 but Nirav Modi got crores of rupees. Why is that," asked another protester.

(With inputs from PTI)

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