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After Banks, Now Maharashtra Farmers Accuse Absconding Nirav Modi Of Scam

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 0
1989
| April 5 , 2018 , 08:56 IST

Absconding jeweller Nirav Modi, who became infamous after Punjab National Bank accused him in a multi-crore scam, has also now been accused by Maharashtra farmers of scamming them as well. While PNB wants Modi to clear his pending dues of Rs 12,700 crores, the farmers want back their 85 acres, media reported on Thursday.

Farmers from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra claim that they sold Nirav Modi and his company 85 acres at "throwaway prices" between 2011 and 2013 after they were “duped” into believing that the land would otherwise be taken over by the government for a bird sanctuary.

The farmers claim that they sold their land to Modi and his company for amounts ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 per acre.

ALSO READ: PNB Alleges Nirav Modi Scam Involved Rs 1,300 Crore More, Total Fraud Amount Rs 12,700 Crore

“We were told by the people who offered to purchase our land that it would be acquired by the government for a bird sanctuary. We were struggling to survive amid continuous drought and thought it was better to get some money rather than let the government take it for free,” said Suban Maharnavar to The Indian Express.

Maharnavar, a resident of Khandala claims to have sold 3.5 acres of land to Modi and his company at the rate of Rs 25,000 per acre.

Dhananjay Kare of Khandala claims that his family sold 5.5 acres at Rs 14,000 per acre to “Modi’s men”.

“The local media had been carrying reports about the possibility of a bird sanctuary coming up. We sold our land in panic. But now, we are determined to get it back,” he said.

In a symbolic gesture to re-assert their right over the land, farmers ploughed a portion of the concerned land in Karjat Taluka last month.

Records at the Karjat sub-registrar's office show that around 37 acres were purchased in the name of Nirav Modi and 48 acres under the name of his company Firestone Trading Pvt Ltd in the villages of Khandala, Goikarwada and Kaprewadi on the Karjat-Jamkhed road, about 200 km east of Pune.

Officials at the sub-registrar’s office say that the land was purchased through “power of attorney” on behalf of Modi for his company.