Thiruvananthapuram: The 'Endosulfan-affected People's Front' has decided to continue its indefinite fast at Kasaragod, seeking a compensation package for victims of the insecticide, after talks with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy here failed to arrive at a settlement.
After the meeting, Front leader Ambalathara Kunhikrishnan told reporters that Chandy had not even shown the patience to listen to the grievances of Endosulfan victims.
The government did not give any specific assurances to the Front, he said. Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan, who attended the talks, said the Front had been asked to wait till the all-party meeting on the issue to be convened on March 25.
The indefinite stir by the Front at Kasaragod, demanding a comprehensive compensation package to persons with incurable diseases and deformities caused by spraying of Endosulfan in cashew plantations, entered the 32nd day today.
Environmental activist A Mohan Kumar is now observing the fast in hospital after he was shifted there by police two days back. He has been on fast for the last 18 days. Two social activists, A Vasu and Moyin Bapu, who began a 24-hour fast in Kasaragod to express solidarity with Mohan Kumar yesterday, decided to continue it after the talks failed.
Hundreds of persons, who are victims of aerial spraying of Endosulfan in the plantations in the district in the 1990s, have been struggling to get their demands for proper compensation met by the government since then.
The Front wants the government to withdraw the health department's order last year, stating that the rehabilitation scheme for victims would be completed in five years.
They also demand proper implementation of the package announced by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in 2010 for Endosulfan victims.