Kerala

Attappady deaths a blot on State: Satheesan

Leader of the Opposition V.D. Satheesan on Monday described the recent infant deaths in Attappady as a shame on the State.

“What happened in Attappady is not infant death; it is homicide,” he said after leading a United Democratic Front (UDF) team to Attappady tribal hamlets.

Mr. Satheesan said the Pinarayi Vijayan government was responsible for the deaths due to malnutrition.

As many as four infants died in Attappady in successive days last week, triggering a wave of protests against the government neglect towards the tribal population.

Mere scapegoats

Mr. Satheesan said that the government was trying to wash its hands of the deaths by making officials scapegoats. The government has not brought any new project for Attappady, he said.

The UDF team said that the Government Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara was functioning without even basic amenities. “The government should immediately address these issues,” they said.

Mr. Satheesan said that without enough doctors at the hospital, tribal patients were increasingly being referred to private hospitals at Perinthalmanna. “The government does not even consider the fact that there is limited travel facility from Attappady to Perinthalmanna,” he said.

Flays Minister

Mr. Satheesan also questioned the “hasty, unscheduled” visit of Health Minister Veena George two days ago. “Why did the Health Minister visit Attappady? She did not even declare any scheme for the tribespeople,” he said.

Mr. Satheesan said that the UDF had implemented several welfare schemes for the tribespeople of Attappady, and a nodal officer had been appointed. “Everything stopped under the LDF government,” he alleged.

He said that summoning the nodal officer to Thiruvananthapuram at a time when Ms. George visited Attappady smacked of vested interests.

Dharna

The UDF team visited several hamlets, including Veetiyur and Padavayal. They also visited the Tribal Specialty Hospital at Kottathara. Mr. Satheesan also inaugurated a UDF dharna at Agali held in protest against the infant deaths.

UDF convener M.M. Hasan, IUML State general secretary P.M.A. Salam, CMP leader C.P. John, Forward Bloc national general secretary G. Devarajan, NCP leader Sulfikar Mayoori, and N. Shamsuddin, MLA, accompanied Mr. Satheesan.


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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 8:57:08 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/attappady-deaths-a-blot-on-state-satheesan/article37870134.ece

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