Achuthanandan to lead protest for endosulfan ban

The protest, to be staged at the Martyrs' Column in the city from 10 am to 5 pm, will demand that India advocate a global ban on endosulfan at the international convention on pollutants beginning in Geneva tomorrow.

Rights activists, elected representatives, cultural leaders, politicians and victims will participate in the protest. Endosulfan has been banned in Kerala in view of the ill-effects of its use in parts of the state, including nearly 400 human deaths and chronic health problems and stunting growth of hundreds of people, many of them children.

The state has been pressing for a countrywide ban on the pesticide. Though an all-party team from Kerala recently met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi, no firm assurance could be obtained on banning the pesticide.

The state also wants the Centre to support the relief and rehabilitation package for the victims of endosulfan, most of whom live in the northern district Kasargode.

Though Congress had extended its support to the demand for ban on the pesticide, the party has accused the ruling LDF of politicising the issue by seizing it as a weapon to attack the UPA Government at the Centre.

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