Indo Asian News Service, December 2, 2006
Bhopal, Dec 2 (IANS) Hundreds of victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy took out a torchlight rally here Saturday night demanding adequate relief and rehabilitation for the survivors of the lethal leakage that killed thousands of people.
The participants of the rally, taken out on the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the tragedy, also demand extradition of Warren Anderson, the then chairman of Union Carbide Corporation that owned the plant from where the leakage occurred.
The leak of 40 tonnes of lethal gas on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984 killed more than 3,000 people instantly and thousands more in subsequent years. The tragedy also left thousands maimed for life from inhaling the poisonous gas.
Shouting slogans ‘Ladenge, jeetenge’ (We will fight, we will win), the victims led by four survivors’ organisations – Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karamchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Ki Awaaaz and Bhopal Group of Information and Action – marched from the city’s Ganesh Temple square at Chhola Road to the now defunct Union Carbide factory.
‘We want justice. Thousands of people have died due to the after effects of the poisonous gases and over two lakh people are constantly suffering,’ said Rachna Dhingra, coordinator International campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB).
‘Victims are still battling deadly diseases and children born after the tragedy are suffering from psychiatric disorders and stunted growth. But the government is doing nothing for their medical care and economic rehabilitation.’
The victims will also take out a rally and hold a prayer meeting on Sunday in front of Union Carbide factory.
Besides this, a number of programmes, including an all-religion prayer meeting and burning of effigies of Warren Anderson will also mark the observance of the disaster’s anniversary.
The state government is organising an all-religion prayer at the Central Library where Governor Balram Jakhar is scheduled to take part.