'Criminal cases against Gregory may be withdrawn'

'Criminal cases against Gregory may be withdrawn'

inspection: Regional Commissioner M V Jayanthi and other officials inspecting the demolished house of Gregory Patrao in Kalavaru in Mangalore, on Saturday.  DH photo

Regional Commissioner M V Jayanthi assured Gregory Patrao that she will recommend the government to withdraw all criminal cases filed against him and his family members, whose house and cattle shed was demolished by the KIADB (Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board) for the development of III phase Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) on April 28.

Jayanthi, who was in Mangalore to conduct inquiry into the incident of demolition of Patrao’s property, held a meeting at the Deputy Commissioner’s Office here on Saturday.
She reportedly said, “I will submit a report to the government mentioning Patrao’s demands of returning his land and property. I will also collect information regarding lapses of officials in Patrao’s issue and report it to the government.”

Earlier, though Jayanthi had tried to settle the issue through negotiations assuring alternative land, Patrao categorically stated that he wanted the same land back.

Gregory Patrao asserted that he would not like to shift to any other place since he is an elected member of Bala Grama Panchayat in DK district.  

Letter dilemma

A letter which carried information as to why Patrao family should be shifted from his land triggered confusion in the meeting. According to sources, the letter reads that the land near refinery unit will not be fit for human habitation as per KSPCB and CPCB norms. In the meantime, Patrao brought to the notice of Regional Commissioner that hundreds of families live in the vicinity within 25 kilometer radius of MRPL, which is against the norms.
“Why should only my family leave the place when hundreds of families are residing near MRPL,” he questioned. However, the letter neither had a signature nor seal of any authority.

When Jayanthi asked officials of MRPL to sign the letter, none of them present in the meeting were ready to sign it. Finally, Regional Commissioner asked the MRPL authorities to produce the letter in a letterhead with seal and signature.

‘I feel embarrassed’

Regional Commissioner earlier had visited Patrao’s demilished house, cattleshed, cultivated agriculture fields, horticulture field, small area of forest grown by him and the temporary shed in which his family live at present in Kalavaru.

“I feel embarrassed to see all these. I understand your feelings. Let Tahsildar and officials make a survey. I will collect details from all officials and submit a report to the government,” Jayanthi said.

Patrao urged the Regional Commissioner to direct officials to return all his seized properties and also compensate the loss. “Why did they do this heinous act. Did I engage in any illegal activities. Did I grow ganja in my property,” anguished Patrao asked.  MRPL Managing Director U K Basu, Mangalore Special Economic Zone Limited Chief Operating Officer A G Pai, Deputy Commissioner V Ponnuraj, KIADB Land Acquisition Officer Krishnamoorthy, Assistant Commissioner Prabhulinga Kavalikatti and Tahsildar Manjunath were present.

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