The NHRC has issued notice to the West Bengal government over the death of nine children due to the consumption of contaminated lychees.
Taking suo motu cognizance of a media report, the National Human Rights Commission sent notice to the West Bengal chief secretary seeking a report within four weeks.
The official has also been asked to inform the panel if similar cases were reported from other parts of the state.
“As per reports, at least nine children, aged between three to five years, died over a period of three days in Kaliachak village in Malda district. They showed symptoms of acute encephalitis syndrome, loosely described as lychee syndrome,” the NHRC said.
The children were reported to be from around a lychee plantation, it said.
Citing expert opinions, the commission said colouring agents and insecticides used on the lychee crop were the cause behind the disease.
It said that the contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the children.