Organic Farmer Murdered After Protesting Toxic Dumpsite
An Indian organic farmer and anti-pollution advocate was shot to death on Monday while in the midst of exposing an illegal dumpsite on his property to the media.
Challa Krishnamurthy started a 20-acre organic farm in Gowribidanur, India with the intention to make it a model for how others should treat the land. But despite his efforts to keep his property free of toxic chemicals, he discovered that a local distillery and sugarcane factory had been dumping untreated waste onto his property as well as others.[social_buttons]
After filing complaints the Pollution Control Board and many other agencies within the Indian government, none came to his aid. Krishnamurthy then contacted the local media to come document the waste site and mentioned that a truck driver from the factory had threatened him with a revolver that day.
According to one report, he was killed later that same day, mere hours before his scheduled meeting with the press. Police have arrested a man they suspect was behind the killing, but a clear motive has not been determined.
The Gowribidanur community united for a general strike in protest of the killing the next day. According to Suresh Heblikar, chairman of the organization Eco-Watch, the city has long been subject to gross amounts of illegal waste dumping.
“If you take Bangalore, for instance, the environment is destroyed,” he said. “ We are not reacting to them hard enough, and the governments made of varied caste-creed-faith combinations cannot be expected to act impartially.”
Any further information on the case is scarce, but I will update this post as more details become available.