Congress leader to protest in front of Parliament if endosulphan not banned by monsoon session

By TCN News,

Kasargod: Even as the Congress party went cold in the matter of the anti-endosulphan campaign towards the end, party’s senior leader VM Sudheeran is going stronger in the path of the struggle against endosulphan. The protest committee against endosulphan which met in Kasargod yesterday in the presence of Mr Sudheeran has announced to hold infinite strike in front of the Parliament if the dangerous chemical is not banned within the monsoon session of the House.

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The meeting of the group also decided to seek legal advice on whether to join party to the petition filed by the DYFI in the Supreme Court demanding a ban on endosulphan and to implement the rehabilitation package. A tribunal should be immediately formed in the state to deal with the rehabilitation and compensation of victims, legal action against those who used endosulphan in the plantation, etc. There is already a petition before the High Court seeking the formation of a tribunal; however the state should pass a special ordinance without waiting for the court order, said Mr VM Sudheeran in a press conference after the meeting.

The group also decided to hold a face-to-face with those who witnessed the Geneva Conference, in order to know the stand taken by India and the incidents that took place there. Dr Muhammed Asheel and C Jayakumar, Keralites who attended the conference, will share their experience. A conference will be organized in June in which famous environmentalist Medha Patkar will attend. Representatives of Kasargod will be taken to attend the anti-endosulphan conference to be held in Bengaluru on June 5. The state government should take the initiative to organize a programme in Kasargod inviting all chief ministers and environment ministers in the country, to create awareness about the dangerous adverse effects of endosulphan, Mr Sudheeran said, explaining the details of the meeting.

Leaders of the group Sudheer Kumar, Narayanan Periya, Ambikasuthan Mangad, Mahin Keloth, KB Muhammed Kunji and Prof MA Rahman also attended the press conference.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the Endosulphan Remediation Cell, formed for the medical treatment and rehabilitation of the endosulphan victims, has not met in the last six months. The Cell which functions under the District Panchayat was provided Rs 50 lakh in the last State Budget. It was also given Rs 10 lakh, as part of the funds to the district Panchayat.

The conference of the parties of the Stockholm Convention which met in Geneva from April 25 to 29 decided to ban the endosulphan globally. India had earlier opposed the ban, but later changed its stand after seeing the strong opposition to it from all countries. Kerala Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan had gone on a fast satyagraha on April 25 seeking a ban on the pesticide. The day was observed all over the state as anti-endosulphan day, in which programmes were held in different places under the leadership of state ministers, political parties and other organizations. The Left Democratic Front also called for a hartal on April 29, on which day the Geneva conference’s decision to ban the endosulphan came out in the afternoon.

Mr Sudheeran has been in the fore-front of the anti-endosulphan campaign even though the Congress party left the campaign led by the Chief Minister accusing the latter of playing politics. He had also reportedly criticised the party’s stand on the matter in a meeting of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee.