Over a hundred eminent citizens on Tuesday expressed grave concern over the deaths of a number of farmers who died at crop fields while spraying pesticides.
The citizens demanded judicial probe into the incidents of deaths of farmers at crop fields while spraying pesticide and incidents of peasants getting critically ill and losing the ability to work caused by pesticides, according to a joint statement of Foundation for Disaster Forum signed by Dhaka University professor emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury.
Jahangirnagar University professor and economist Anu Muhammad, journalist Afsan Chowdhury, Dhaka University professor Ahmed Kamal, environmental activist and lawyer Sayeda Rizwana Hasan, Britannia University vice-chancellor Tofail Ahmed, journalist and writer Faruk Wasif and natural farming activist Delowar Jahan were among the noted citizens demanding judicial inquiry into the deaths of farmers while praying pesticides at crop fields.
‘We are disturbed by the incidents of deaths of farmers at crop fields when they were spraying pesticide on the crops,’ said the statement.
It said at least seven farmers died at crop fields in last eight months in different areas of the country while spraying pesticide.
There is no data about how many farmers were getting critically ill and losing ability to work due to effect of pesticide use, it said.
‘It’s a matter of grave concern,’ the statement said, demanding formation of judicial probe committee to investigate such incidents considering the public interest.
The citizens demanded identification of the people, organisations and their agencies responsible for such incidents and taking measures against them.
They also demanded compensating the peasants who died and lost ability to work.
They also demanded updating the existing act on pesticide use to protect agriculture and peasants.
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