Activists protest highlighting issues of Bhopal gas victims

Trading Markets, April 14, 2008
New York, Apr 12, 2008 — Several activist groups led by Amnesty International have held a demonstration here demanding measures by the Indian government to address issues concerning to the victims of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
More one hundred activists and around 50 activist groups protested outside the Indian Consulate here yesterday and called for constitution of a special commission to look into matters like rehabilitation of the victims and quick legal action against Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.
Several thousand people were killed and injured when toxic methyl isocyanate gas was released from the Union Carbide plant on Dec 3, 1984.
Union Carbide has since been bought by Dow Chemicals and activists say the buyer has the same liability as the original company.
The organisers collected over 1000 signatures on a petition addressed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, accusing the government of not fulfilling the promises made to the victims two years ago when they organised a protest march from Bhopal to New Delhi, covering nearly 800 kilometers.
“In contrast, over the two years, your office has worked hard to clear a path for Dow Chemical in India. Though Union Carbide is criminal fugitive in India, your government has approved Dow’s sale of Carbide Technology to Reliance Industries,” the petition said.
The protesters also demanded cancellation of the approval given to Reliance to “purchase” Union Carbide’s technology, “aggressively” hold Dow Chemical responsible for clean up of toxic areas in Bhopal and annul registration of four pesticide plants that Dow obtained licenses for by “paying bribes.”

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