List of freedom fighters included three deceased!

Mumbai, July 16 (IANS) A list of 88 people recently approved as freedom fighters eligible for pension and other benefits in Maharashtra is said to include three, including two women, who are deceased, an RTI query revealed here on Thursday.

They figure in the list of 88 freedom fighters till July 5, which was recently approved by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, including 52 from a single district Beed, approved on a single day, said RTI activist Anil Galgali.

“The same list of Beed has three names, including two women… Shambhaji Ambuji Khande, Janabai Laxman Yewle and Jalsubai Tukaram Bhosale… who have died long ago. Now their descendents are pursuing the claims on the pension windfall which runs into several lakhs of rupees,” Galgali told IANS.

Taking strong note of the development, the Beed collector wrote to the state government informing that Khande died in October 2011, Yewle died in August 2012 while Bhosale died in December 2009.

“He further informed that the relatives and descendents of the deceased trio were in a hot pursuit to claim the freedom fighter’s accumulated dues which could run into several lakhs of rupees. There could be a racket in this and the state must probe,” Galgali said.

The collector has also demanded additional funds to the tune of Rs.8.52 crore to clear the dues accrued to the 79 newly-declared ‘freedom fighters’ as per the latest list approved by the state government.

“Beed is a strange case. During the Congress-NCP rule, an enquiry had found 298 freedom fighters as fake out of 355 declared then. Later, during the current BJP-Shiv Sena rule, on a single day, Beed was granted 52 new freedom fighters. The district already has 494 central and 690 state (government) approved freedom fighters, prior to the new additions,” Galgali explained.

He has shot off another letter to Fadnavis, Minister of State for Home Ranjeet Patil and other officials demanding that the new list of freedom fighters be scrapped and criminal cases by the Anti Corruption Bureau be filed against the racketeers who are sneaking in new names for collecting public funds.

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