January 14, 2012
Survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal today burnt an effigy of Home Minister P Chidambaram to protest against the recent decision of the Group of Ministers on Bhopal of not revising the figures of deaths and injuries caused by the disaster in the curative petition pending before the Supreme Court.
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Leaders of survivors’ organizations alleged that Chidambaram has a history of being devoted to Union Carbide’s owner Dow Chemical and called for his removal from the post of Chairman of the GoM.
“The GoM ‘s decision not to present correct numbers of the people Union Carbide has killed and injured in Bhopal is a decision unilaterally imposed by Chidambaram on the entire group. This decision is against data from scientific studies by the government’s own apex research agency Indian Council of Medical Research” said Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh.
Presenting a copy of a letter written by Chidambaram to the PMO in 2006, Nawab Khan of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said “Chidambaram had written to the Prime Minister to let Dow Chemical walk away from its liabilities in Bhopal. His latest attempt to downplay the damage caused by the American company shows how devoted he continues to be to Dow Chemical Company”.
“Chidambaram was the lawyer for Enron the most corrupt American corporation and a Board member of Vedanta the British company responsible for ecological and human devastation. He should not have been included in the GoM on Bhopal let alone be its Chairman” said Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action. Her organization is among the five that are calling for removal of Chidambaram as the Chairman of GoM on Bhopal.
The organizations also sent a copy of a letter addressed to the Chief Minister by the four religious leaders seeking withdrawal of criminal cases against gas victims related to the incident of violence on the 27th Anniversary of the disaster last year.
“Religious leaders of Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs are jointly calling for withdrawal of the criminal cases against 2000 gas victims till the Chief Minister sets up an independent inquiry on the violence on December 3, 2011” said Balkrishna Namdeo, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha who himself has been charged with murderous assault and other grave offences. He pointed out that the district and police authorities have failed to reply to the questions raised by the State Human Rights Commission in this regard.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
BhopalGas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Children Against Dow Carbide