“The people of the Kasaragod district are not just the victims of the endosulfan tragedy, they are also the martyrs,” said activist Medha Patkar here on Monday.

She was inaugurating the protest by the Endosulfan Peeditha Janakeeya Munnani (a front of endosulfan victims) before the Secretariat.

Upholding the demands raised by the victims, including rehabilitation, and setting up of a tribunal to determine the compensation, she said, “A tribunal set up for the endosulfan issue should not end up like the Plachimada Tribunal.” The legislation to ensure compensation to victims in Plachimada– the Plachimada Coca Cola Victims Relief and Compensation Claims Special Tribunal Bill was yet to get the President’s assent.

Ms. Patkar said that the sufferings of the endosulfan victims spoke about the carelessness of the State towards the victims. She added that the people of Kerala should get together to create awareness about the harmful effects of endosulfan.

“The wrong policies of the Government lead to corporatisation, destructive development, and the corruption of nature and life,” Ms. Patkar said. She added that the politicians, bureaucrats and the self-righteous corporate were responsible for the never ending sufferings of the victims of endosulfan tragedy.

“The actions taken by the State leaders in the issue of endosulfan have not been effective because they were not based on comprehensive studies,” said activist B. R. P. Bhaskar.

R. V. G. Menon, C.R. Neelakantan, Vilayadi Venugopal and Ambikasutan Mangad also addressed the gathering.

The sculptures made by artist Vinod Ambalathara were exhibited along with the photographs of the victims of endosulfan.