Mumbai: Post-retirement will President Pratibha Patil, the constitutional head of the military forces, live on land that virtually homeless jawans asked to be accommodated on?
Activists argue that this controversial piece of land in Khadki, Pune where the President's post-retirement bungalow is being built, could have gone to jawans, who now live in slum like conditions.
The President is the last resort for justice in this country. But with the President's office directly involved in this case, affected Jawans say they do not know who to turn to.
Colonel Suresh Patil, Justice for Jawans, said, "These guys are living in tin sheets and then you want them to protect the country. There are 100 war widows and 200 handicapped Army personnel families in Pune district, she should be considerate."
Documents accessed by CNN-IBN also show the land was reclassified from civil use to exclusive military purposes.
And while the President's office said extensive repairs were necessary, there was no mention of demolitions to the two bungalows that stood there. But today the bungalows have made way for fresh construction, expenses of which will be borne by the Defense Ministry.
President Patil's son Rajendra Shekhawat said that there was no case of land grabbing. "Whatever she is given is as per what is entitled for the President, nothing is going to be behind that. I don't think she's encroaching on anyone else. she being the supreme commander of the defense forces certainly knows her duties and she's not going to encroach on anyone's land," he told CNN-IBN.