Bhopal gas victims to start anti-Dow Chemicals campaign

Bhopal, April 20 (PTI): A group of Bhopal gas tragedy victims on Wednesday threatened to start an international campaign against Dow Chemicals, including legal action and social boycott of its products in the country.
The protestors, who had called off their hunger strike in New Delhi on Monday after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s assurances to take welfare measures for the victims, said other NGOs would be mobilised to hold meetings and awareness drives against Dow Chemicals — the multi-national company that took over Union Carbide Corporation (UCC).
“Though we appreciate Singh’s gesture and assurances, we want him to go a step further to ensure sustained health of victims of the tragedy that took place after MIC gas leaked from UCC factory here in 1984,” Satinath Sarangi, a spokesman of the protestors told reporters here.
Singh had rejected two of their six demands –seeking a ban on products of Dow Chemicals being sold under the brand name of UCC and formation of special prosecution cell to initiate legal action against UCC and its former Chairman Warren Anderson– he said adding “this clearly shows that he (Singh) is working at the behest of foreign companies”.
Most of the contracts that the foreign companies are signing with the Centre, have clauses allowing them to disown reponsibility of any kind of tragedy caused by their subsidiaries, Sarangi claimed adding they were taking advantage of an amendment brought about in the Factories Act in 1989.

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