Farmhands’ death: Agriculture department in the dock

Thiruvalla: The death of two farmhands allegedly from exposure to insecticide has Kerala’s agriculture department in the dock.

Sanal Kumar ( 42) and Mathai Esho (68) were working on a paddy field at Alamthuruthi in Peringara spraying banned insecticide “ Virat” when they collapsed.

They were admitted to Government hospital Changanassery after developing vomiting and diarrhea-like symptoms and died shortly later.

Their deaths has given rise to controversy regarding the use of banned pesticides.

Despite directions from authorities to use only permitted pesticides and insecticides, banned products of major companies have been in use, many say.

Meanwhile, police report points at negligence officials at agriculture department.

In several panchayats in Thiruvalla and Kuttanadu Thaluk in Upperkuttanad have not enough agriculture officials.

It was their duty to suggest healthy sprays and other products to fight pests and insects.

Farmers do not get any suggestion or direction from district agriculture officials either.

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