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Apr 29, 2011 at 09:19am IST

Endosulfan row, LDF calls for Kerala bandh

Thiruvanthapuram: A dawn to dusk fast by Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan against Endosulfan, just a few days ago grabbed lots of attention - and is now expected to intensify further with the LDF calling for a Kerala bandh to protest against the Centre's stand on the killer pesticide. In fact Achuthanandan has also written to other states requesting them to put pressure on the Centre to impose a ban on the pesticide.

V S Achuthanandan, Kerala Chief Minister on April 25, said, "The Prime Minister has dismissed the requests of the state government and the people of Kerala to ban Endosulfan, giving more importance to the selfish interests of some of his cabinet ministers."

In Kerala's Kasargode district Endosulfan has caused 500 deaths and maimed more than 4,000 people. Realising the grim danger, the Endosulfan has been banned by 80 countries. But the UPA government at the Centre was still reluctant to take any action towards banning the pesticide.

"The Central Government is stubborn that only if more people fall ill or die in all the states of India, they will take steps to ban the pesticide," said Achuthannadan.

Noting that a committee chaired by Director General of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) was presently examining the harmful effects of Endosulfan on the health of the people, the PMO said the Committee would be asked to "expedite" its report.

Meanwhile, there are reports that India has softened its pro-Endosulfan stand in the Stockholm Convention but with conditions. While the conference ends on Friday, Achutanandan's fight is definitely not over.

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