Seven more farmers have died in the past three days owing to improper spraying of ‘Profex Super’ insecticide on cotton plantations in Yavatmal district, taking the toll to 15.Kishor Tiwari, chief of Vasantrao Naik Shetkari Swavalamban Mission, said over 600 cases of insecticide infection have been reported in Yavatmal district. He blamed indiscriminate use of wrong combinations of insecticides, and direct and continuous exposure to toxic substances owing to lack of protective gear for the death of farmers and farm workers over the past one week.The deceased farmers have been identified as Dashrath Chavan of Naygaon village, Devidas Madavi of Kalamb town, Kailash Pendor of Jamni village, Ayub Sheikh of Kalgaon village, Anil Chavan of Kalamb, Ramesh Chirawar of Ghatanji village, Ravi Rathod of Uchegaon village, Vithal Parkewar and Pradip Soyami from Kelapur town, Vasant Sidam of Maregoan village, Maroti Pimpalkar of Kalegoan village, Divakar Ghoshi of Ghoddara village, Shankar Kedam of Talki village, Dipak Madavi of Arni town. and Bandu Sonurle of Manoli village.Mr. Tiwari also blamed genetically modified Bt cotton seeds for the deaths. He said, “Bt cotton seeds are supposed to be resistant to bollworm and other infestations. However, they failed to tackle the pests and this resulted in the use of the toxic and internationally banned Monocrotophos, a highly toxic pesticide, which makes plants look green and healthy but causes the resurgence of pink bollworm. The chances of exposure to toxic chemicals increase as farmers use non-recommended combinations.”Mr. Tiwari said Maharashtra had the largest area under cotton cultivation (over 40 lakh hectares) and tribal farm workers would continue to die if the State did not ban chemical farming in regions seeing a spate of suicides over crop failure.
Yusuf Pathan hits a six during his 96-ball knock of 123. Photo by PTIYusuf Pathan scored a quick-fire century and claimed three Kiwi scalps to lead India to an impressive five-wicket victory during the fourth ODI at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday.Batting at his usual pace, Pathan struck left, right and centre as the New Zealanders desperately tried for options. But, the option never came by as he went on to score an unbeaten 123 in an explosive batting show, which saw him hit as many as seven over-the-fence shots and an equal number of fours.Yusuf Pathan raises his bat after his half-century as Saurabh Tiwary looks on. Photo by APComing in after Andy McKay and Nathan McCullum had delivered double blows and the score was a poor 108/4, he changed the face of the game, which was gradually shifting towards New Zealand.McKay had dispatched Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli in the 10th over, while McCullum had dismissed Yuvraj Singh in the 18th and followed it up with Parthiv Patel’s wicket in 20th over. Patel put 53 on board.But, Pathan had other plans. He formed a partnership with Rohit Sharma and after his dismissal got involved in another partnership with young Saurabh Tiwary by his side. Together, the duo put on 133 runs for the sixth wicket to end the day on 321/5. Tiwary scored a fine 37.James Franklin raises his bat after an unbeaten 98. Photo by APEarlier after being put to bat, Kiwi James Franklin hit 22 runs in the last over amassing an unbeaten 98 to help the visitors put up an impressive 315/7 in their quota of 50 overs against an Indian attack that went wrong towards the end.In keeping with India skipper Gautam Gambhir’s plans of early inroads under overcast conditions, Ashish Nehra claimed opener Martin Guptil (30) and Jamie How (4) in quick succession. But, his efforts came a cropper when Franklin scored 22 off his last over.advertisementPathan claimed important wickets of Scott Styris (46), skipper Daniel Vettori (17). Later he increased his victims list by adding Kyle Mills’s name in it.R Ashwin claimed two wickets on the day getting rid of danger-man Brendon McCullum (42) in the 14th over with Rohit Sharma performing the final rites at the short mid-wicket region and then dispatching Ross Taylor on 44.With this win India will be aiming for a series whitewash in the final ODI in Chennai on Friday.NUMBERS GAME6 Number of years taken by Parthiv Patel to make his comeback. He last represented India against Sri Lanka in Colombo on July 27, 2004.3/ 49 Are the best bowling figures of Yusuf Pathan in his 41st match. His previous best was 3/ 56 against West Indies in Kingston on June 26, 2009.98 * Is the highest score of James Fraklin in his 77th match. His previous best was 72 not out also against India in the previous match. Overall, it was his second half century.315/ 7 Is the highest score of New Zealand at this venue.Their previous best was 236/ 8 in 50 overs also against India on October 14, 1987.Compiled by Manoj Kumar