Kasargod, Dec 11: In an affidavit filed in Kerala High Court, Kerala Horticultural Products Development Corporation, stated that it does not have the responsibility of paying compensation to the people suffering from side effects of endosulfan use. Endosulfan is a controversial insecticide and acaricide, blatant use of which in areas inhabited by humans, is said to have caused miseries in them including disproportionate growth of body parts, paralysis, death, debility, birth of babies with deformities, tuberculosis etc.
The said insecticide was in use mostly in cashew plantations, where it was sprinkled through helicopters in the past. There have been long-drawn protests for banning endosulfan use, and for the payment of compensation to the families of deceased and the suffering in this connection.
The corporation said that use of endosulfan, which is a registered insecticide under section 9 of Insecticide Act, cannot have any side effects. In the affidavit, managing director of the corporation, N K Manoj, said that the corporation had not violated any provisions of the concerned acts, in using the said drug. He further asserted that the drug, which was used by the corporation till the year 2000, was a good insecticide, and that every care was taken by the corporation before deciding to sprinkle it on the cashew plantations.
The fact that successive delegations deputed by the union government for examining side effects of endosulfan use have given green signal for its use, has angered the families of sufferers and the general public alike. Protesting against the above statemenent, BJP Kasargod district committee, laid siege to the Perla divisional office of the said corporation on Friday. When the policemen stopped the protestors numbering around 100, some of them pelted stones at the office. Two policemen were injured in stone pelting incident, and a BJP activist, Satish Kumble, was seriously injured in caning by the policemen.
The district unit of Democratic Youth Federation of India too protested against the statement of Manoj, by leading a procession to the office of the corporation in Bovikkana. When the policemen stopped them at the gate, tension gripped the area for some time.
In the meanwhile, Kerala minister for agriculture, Mullakkara Ratnakaran, said that N K Manoj has been suspended for filing pro-endosulfan statement in the High Court. Speaking to reporters, he said that the official had not consulted the board before filing the statement. He promised to file an ammended statement in this connection, in the High Court.