A court here in Maharashtra has discharged 185 farmers facing trial in the 2011 Maval firing case, allowing the state government’s application seeking withdrawal of the case filed against the cultivators.

Three farmers, including a woman, were killed in the police firing and 16 farmers had received injuries during the agitation on August 9, 2011 in Maval tehsil of the district.

Additional Sessions Judge S N Sonawane on November 22 allowed the state government’s application to withdraw the case and discharged 185 cultivators who were booked under various Indian Penal Code sections, including attempt to murder and rioting.

The judge in his order said, “After perusal of the charge sheet, it appears that there is substance in the submission (by state government) that no fruitful result will come out of the trial…and there are no specific allegations of any overt act against the accused.”

The judge said the farmers’ intention was that water in their village, over which they have more right than others, should not be given to Pune city and if it is done, they would face problem of drinking water and for agricultural needs.

It is clear from the circumstances and statements of the witnesses as well as the First Information Report (FIR) that “there was no intention, motive or conspiracy among the farmers to kill police personnel,” he noted.

“Considering all these facts and circumstances, the Maharashtra government has decided to withdraw the case and its application deserves to be allowed,” the judge said.

On August 9, 2011, police had opened fire at villagers protesting against the government’s decision to lay a closed pipeline to supply water from the Pavna dam in Maval to the limits of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, located on the city’s outskirts.

Agriculturists had claimed that they would not get water for their crops if the closed pipeline was laid.

After the incident, the then Superintendent of Police Sandip Karnik was transferred and an inquiry commission was set up to probe the firing.