DAVANGERE: Environmental activist Salumarada Veerachari, who had planted more than 3,000 trees and had taken up a fight against illegalities in the public distribution system (PDS) in his village, died by hanging from a tree which he had planted himself, at Mittlakatte village on Monday night. The activist was a recipient of the Karnataka Rajyotsava Award for his contribution towards saving the environment.
Veerachari had taken up a fight against illegalities in the fair price shop at Mitlakatte village. In an audio message, he had alleged that rice is not fairly distributed to the poor at the fair price shop in the village. Veerachari had threatened to hang himself if justice was not delivered.
Veerachari has been continuously fighting against the illegalities at the fair prices for the past year and had provided evidence to the authorities. On Monday morning, there was a discussion on the same issue in the Deputy Commissioner’s office about whether the fair price shop should be shut or not.
Veerachari had alleged that the fair price shop owner Siddaramappa was selling rice meant for the poor in the black market. He recorded an audio message and sent it to the villagers. Veerachari hanged himself from a tree in the middle of the village alleging that he was denied justice despite providing proof.
Girish Devaramani, an environmental activist.
“Salumarada Veerachari represented Mitlakatte village, and had more than 2,500 trees. He was an inspiration to young people. His death is unacceptable. The case has been going on for so many years. He could not accept the injustice and hanged himself. We need justice and if the government won’t take action, then we will stage a protest along with other organisations,” said Girish Devaramani, an environmental activist.
Angry villagers blocked the road and decided not to lower the body from the tree until the deputy commissioner and Food and Civil Supplies Department officials arrived there. They also gathered in front of the fair price shop and vented their anger against the owner. The police finally managed to pacify the villagers. A case has been registered at Harihar Rural police station.