Village tense as farmer ends life

Village tense as farmer ends life

The ongoing tussle between the district administration and the villagers of Kora hobli over the Ajjagondanahalli garbage treatment plant row has reached the boiling point.

On Saturday, a farmer from Katigenahalli, fearing he would lose his mango grove if the garbage plant becomes functional, allegedly committed suicide by jumping before a speeding train.

The deceased is G Shivakumar (37), a physically challenged person and a Tumakuru University employee working on a consolidated pay. It is said that the victim had written to the chief minister, the district in-charge minister, the Urban Development minister, MLAs and the deputy commissioner stating that farming activities on 1.22 acres of land adjacent to the garbage treatment plant will not be possible if the government goes ahead with the project. He had urged the chief minister and the ministers to scrap the project, so as to protect the livelihood of his family and that of others in the vicinity.

Shivakumar was the lone earning member of the family of seven. He was actively involved in the protest against the unscientific disposal of garbage at the Ajjagondanahalli treatment plant.

His body was found on the rail tracks between the Kyatasandra and Hirehalli stations on Friday. But it was identified only on Saturday noon.

Hundreds of villagers from Katigenahalli, Ajjagondanahalli, Kora, Anchikatte and surrounding villages rushed to the district hospital in Tumakuru after they got to know about the incident. The villagers blamed the government and the district administration for the suicide. They demanded that the garbage plant be shifted from Ajjagondanahalli and a government job be provided to Shivakumar’s wife.

The villagers gathered at the district hospital demanding that they be allowed to take the body in procession from the Palike premises to the DC’s office. Additional SP Lakshman, Tahsildar Maruthi Prasanna and assistant commissioner visited the hospital and made efforts to convince the agitating villagers to drop their procession plan. But the villagers were in no mood to listen to their pleas.

The district administration finally allowed the villagers to take Shivakumar’s body in a procession. The police, however, did not allow them into DC office. The villagers left for Katigenahalli on foot, carrying the body.

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