PALAKKAD: The activists of the Adivasi Action Council staged a protest march and blocked the Mannarkad -Aanakatti road at Agali on Saturday to protest the recurring infant deaths in Attappadi. The march was held from the Kottathara market to the Kottathara tribal speciality hospital.
The chairman of the Adivasi action council T V Suresh said according to them, 21 infants had died this year in Attappadi though the official figures of the deaths were 15. He demanded a detailed judicial enquiry into the deaths.
He said that Rankamma was admitted to the Kottathara tribal speciality hospital on December 19, Wednesday. It was only on Friday night when she developed pain that she was shifted to a private hospital in Aanakatti on the Tamil Nadu side of the border. The infant was delivered via a C-section and it was due to the carelessness of the Kottathara tribal speciality hospital authorities that the death occurred.
The father of the child, Pazhaniswamy, later brought the body of the infant in an auto to the police station in Agali and demanded action. The body of the child has been sent for post-mortem to the Thrissur medical college. The post-mortem will be conducted on Sunday and only then will the reason be identified.
In his speech, Suresh said that there were 28 departments functioning in Attappadi and they lacked co-ordination. The need of the hour is to entrust the functions of various departments to the Integrated Tribal Development Project (ITDP) office. He said that in all the other states, the ITDP office had judicial powers but not in Kerala.
The others who spoke at the protest meet included vice chairman of the action council V S Murugan, Moopan co-ordination committee president Mayakrishnan, etc.