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Traders, eco activists lock horns

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Going green: Environmental activists staging a demonstration in front of a pesticide shop in the city on Friday.
Going green: Environmental activists staging a demonstration in front of a pesticide shop in the city on Friday.

Staff Reporter

Greens stage a dharna in front of a shop selling pesticides

KOZHIKODE: The police had to intervene to defuse tension at Chintavalappu Junction in the city on Friday morning following a stand-off between traders and activists against pesticides.

The police removed the activists, belonging to the Committee for Banning Pesticides, from the scene.

The trouble began when the traders started grouping after members of the committee organised a dharna in front of a shop selling pesticides at the junction in connection with observance of World Environment Day. The activists raised slogans ‘Ban pesticides, save soil, human beings and plants and animals.’

Traders’ stance

Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi president T. Nasirudheen who arrived at the scene said protest against shops would not be allowed at any cost. A scuffle broke out between the traders and the activists.

Later, addressing a press conference, committee chairman John and convener Jacob Vadakkanchery told presspersons that an urgent meeting of the State council of the committee had decided to continue the agitation against pesticides even in the midst of “concerted attempts to impose poisonous insecticides on human beings.”

The attack on activists, bio farmers and naturopaths during a peaceful protest in front of a shop selling pesticides here was an attack on democracy and freedom of expression, they said.

State-wide protest

Meetings and rallies will be organised State-wide in protest against the attack. A mass dharna will be held in front of shops selling pesticides in all districts. A three-day satyagraha training camp to equip activists for this agitation against the “vested interests of multinational companies” will be held at Nature Care International from July 10 to 12. A fast will be organised in Kozhikode on Hiroshima Day on August 6 to Nagasaki Day on August 9 declaring that pesticides are more dangerous than atom bombs, they said.

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