PATHANAMTHITTA: Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala has demanded a probe into the deaths of two farm workers following exposure to pesticides in the paddy fields of Vengala-Irukkara in the upper Kuttand village of Peringara, Thiruvalla, on Friday. Mr Chennithala, who visited the families of the workers, Mathai Easo, 62, and Sanal Kumar, 42, both natives of Vengala, on Monday, blamed the agriculture department for the incident and said there was serious flaws in the use of the pesticides by the department.
Mr Chennithala asked the state government to provide financial aid to the families of the deceased.
“Pesticides are being widely used in upper Kuttanad. I have discussed the issue with Agriculture Minister V.S. Sunil Kumar, who has also agreed to visit the place on Thursday,” he added. The two were taken to the Changanassery General Hospital for severe breathing difficulty on Friday evening and rushed to the Medical College Hospital, Kottayam, where they were declared brought dead. Three other farm wo-rkers also had suffered bre-athing problems and were treated at the Changa-nassery General Hospital.
The police, who registered cases for unnatural deaths, were probing the source of toxic pesticides used by the farmers. They also conducted inspection at a pesticide store at Elanjimoodu to find whether permitted chemicals were used in the pesticide. The source of pesticide used by the farmers is yet to be traced.