Endosulfan agitation enters fourth week
Kasaragod: The indefinite fast being staged here by "Endosulfan-affected People`s Front" seeking a comprehensive compensation package to persons with incurable diseases and deformities caused by the insecticide, entered the fourth week on Sunday.
Peoples` Front activist A Mohan Kumar is observing the hunger strike now after three other persons who staged the fast earlier were arrested and hospitalised by the police.
Mohan Kumar`s fast entered the seventh day today. The activists had resisted an attempt by the police to arrest him last night.
Hundreds of persons, who have been victims of aerial spraying of endosulfan in the cashew plantations in the district in the 1990s, have been struggling to get their demands for compensation met by the government since then.
"The government seemed to believe that the serious social and health hazards caused by the prolonged exposure to endsulfan in the cashew estates of the Plantation Corporation of Kerala was over with the ban on pesticide in 2001," Subramanian, a Front activist told a news a news agency.
"Even now, children are being born in the area with deformities," he said.
The Front wants the government to withdraw the order issued by Health department last year stating that the rehabilitation scheme for victims would be completed within five years.
"The government, responsible for using the pesticide, has to provide relief on a long-term basis to the victims and their families, who are forced to lead a life of perpetual misery," he said.
They also demand proper implementation of the package announced by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 2010 for endosulfan victims.
Only 1,613 persons had so far been provided financial assistance from among a list of 4,182 victims identified by NHRC, E Unnikrishnan, another activist, said, adding that there was also a move to truncate the list.
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