With the death of a two-year-old boy, the toll due to malnutrition in the tribal-dominated Mokhada tehsil in the district since July has gone up to 17, a local Shiv Sena leader said 11 September.
Sena worker and member of Palghar Zilla Parishad Prakash Nikam said that 17 children have died due to malnutrition in the last two months, and if the state government did not take any action, the villagers would take the body of any child, that dies in future, to the tehsil office or even the Mantralaya (state secretariat) for cremation.
Ishwar Sawra (2) from Khoch village died on 9 September, becoming the latest victim of malnutrition, he said.
Former MLA Vivek Pandit blamed the state government for stopping the Village Child Development Program, aimed at tackling malnutrition, which he said worsened the situation.
Local authorities were not available for comments when contacted.