Bhopal Victims Like Orphans, CPI Secy Raja says

Press Statement
CPI, Forward Bloc Extend Support to Bhopal Survivors’ Struggle
NEW DELHI, 31 March, 2008 – Bhopal survivors sitting on dharna at Jantar Mantar since 28 March received a major shot-in-the arm after CPI National Secretary D. Raja and Forward Block Secretary Devarajan visited their sit-in and extended their support.
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CPI National Secretary D. Raja and Forward Block Secretary Devaraja at the Bhopal dharna today
CPI National Secretary D. Raja said: “When you look at the conditions of the Bhopal victims, they are living like orphans. This is very painful and the UPA Government has to be more sensitive to this situation. It is very distressing to see that the influence of multinational corporations is increasing on the policies of the Government. Union Carbide is one of the most notorious multinational corporations in the world. I feel people are being let down by UPA Government, for no sin of theirs. There are many apprehensions in the minds of people. How long will the legal case go on? Whether the UPA Government is determined to fight this case in the interests of the victims of the Bhopal tragedy? How long can Dow Chemical play with the lives of the people of Bhopal?”
Mr. Raja told Bhopal survivors: “On behalf of the CPI, I assure you that CPI will be in the front in taking up these issues, and in raising these issues inside the parliament, and we’ll also support the struggle outside the parliament.”
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D. Raja, National Secretary, CPI
Mr Raja specifically said that “The Government must fight the case in the High Court with determination, and must secure money from Dow for clean-up. It must extradite Anderson, and make Dow pay its dues. The Government should not come under pressure from multinationals, and should ensure that Bhopal survivors are not left to live like orphans.”
Mr. Devarajan of Forward Block promised to take up the matter in the parliament. He noted that “Many people are suffering at the hands of multinational corporations, and the Government is unable to take any steps. It is only taking cosmetic decisions. The Coordinating Committee on Bhopal set up by the Government has had only one or two meetings, and done no work.”
Mr. Devarajan expressed his “total support for your demand for a Commission to take care of rehabilitation and to take care of the coming generations.” He said that it appears that the Government has forgotten Bhopal and will only wake up if another Bhopal happens. “It is important to learn from Bhopal and deal with the issues raised by the disaster well in order to ensure than other Bhopal does not happen again.”
Fifty Bhopal survivors arrived in Jantar Mantar on 28 March, 2008, after walking 800 km from Bhopal to Delhi. They have demanded a National Commission to implement rehabilitation schemes and environmental remediation, and a commitment from the Government that it will pursue legal action against Dow Chemical and Union Carbide.
For more information, contact: Nityanand Jayaraman: 9717516003.
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
B5/136, Safdarjung Enclave, New Delhi 110 029.

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