Obama, do not practice double standards on corporate accountability
Hundreds of survivors the Bhopal gas disaster and people exposed to contaminated groundwater will travel to New Delhi to demand that US President Obama should take action against the US Corporations Dow Chemical and Union Carbide for their continuing crimes in Bhopal, according to five Bhopal organisations active in campaigning for justice in Bhopal.
Mrs. Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said“We are going to ask Mr. Obama to use his Presidential powers to make the two U.S. corporations Union Carbide and Dow Chemical answerable to Indian courts.” She pointed out that Union Carbide’s authorized executives and its former Chairman Warren Anderson charged with serious offences including culpable homicide are absconding Indian courts for the last 18 years. She said that the other US Corporation evading legal liability was Dow Chemical, owner of Union Carbide since 2001. She said that for last five years Dow Chemical is refusing to submit to the jurisdiction of the State High Court where the matter of poisoning of ground water and soil is ongoing.
“Today over a hundred thousand people are chronically ill and hundreds are dying untimely deaths because of their exposure to Union Carbide’s poison clouds in 1984. Today hundreds of babies are being born with horrific malformations and their parents suffer damages to the liver, kidney and lungs because Dow Chemical refuses to own up its legal liability of decontaminating the land. For the last 18 years the US government has deliberately neglected taking action against the two corporations that continue commit crimes in Bhopal. We will ask Mr. Obama to take the first steps towards reversing this inglorious history of U.S. government with regard to justice in Bhopal.”said Mr Balkrishna Namdeo, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action pointed out that US President Obama is bringing along the largest contingent of US corporate representatives and said that the survivors of Bhopal will remind the US President that as the promoter of US corporate interests in India it was his moral responsibility to ensure legal accountability of U.S. corporations operating in this country. “This is particularly significant because a number of corporations that the President is accompanying have a sordid criminal and environmental history” he said.
The organizations said that among the prominent corporations in the US delegation General Electric, the fourth largest air polluter in US discharged as much as 1.3 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the Hudson River and is yet to clean it up. Another company Boeing has contaminated large areas of Southern California with toxic and radioactive waste. They said that Pepsico’s soft drink products in India were found to contain 36 times the level of pesticide residues permitted under European Union regulations.
Safreen Khan of Children Against Carbide said that US President Obama has taken rather strong steps against British Petroleum’s environmental crimes in the Gulf of Mexico. She said that she and members of her organization expect Mr Obama to pursue the same level of accountability towards Dow Chemical and Union Carbide with respect to their ongoing crimes in Bhopal.
Syed M Irfan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha Mob. 9329026319
Safreen Khan, Children Against Dow-Carbide Mob. 9826994797
Rashida Bee, Champa Devi Shukla, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh Mob. 9425688215
Balkrishna Namdeo, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha Mob. 9826345423
Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi, Bhopal Group for Information and Action Mob. 9826167369