Press Statement – FOR DETAILS OF CHARGES SEE LINKS AT THE END OF PRESS RELEASE
January 16, 2012
Five organizations of survivors of the Union Carbide today held a demonstration today calling for immediate withdrawal of criminal cases against 35 named and 2000 unnamed gas victims in connection with their protests action on December 3, 2011. The organizations demanded immediate release of 14 persons who are in jail for the last one and half month and setting up of an independent inquiry by the government before taking any penal action.
“The Chief Minister is yet to keep his publicly stated promise of setting up an independent inquiry in to the incident of violence on the 27th anniversary of the gas disaster and innocent people are being punished without trial. It is supremely ironical that those fighting against the crimes of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical are put in jail while the perpetrators of the massacre in Bhopal remain unpunished for the last 27 years” said Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh.
Balkrishna Namdeo president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha who is himself accused of murderous assault and other grave offences pointed out that several women older than 80 years and with severe health problems have been named in the First Information Report as participating in violence using swords and country made guns.
“The videos and photographs produced by the police officials establish my presence 4 kilometers away from the scene of violence during, before and after the entire incident and yet I am charged under Section 307 and 16 other sections of the Indian Penal Code” said Nawab Khan, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha.
Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action pointed out that the District and police administration have failed to respond to the questions raised by the State Human Rights Commission immediately after the incident of violence. “False charges have been leveled against 2000 gas victims to cover up police brutalities on peaceful women protestors that triggered the violence. The facts can only be established through an independent inquiry.” he said. He said that 6 of the 14 persons in jail for last one and half month had documentary evidence to show that they were at their workplace before and during the incident of violence.
17 year old Safreen Khan, a member of the Children against Dow Carbide who is also charged with attempt to murder and other serious offences said that the Bhopal survivors remain undaunted by the false criminal charges and are continuing with their dharna for the last 15 days.
Rashida Bi, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Nawab Khan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Balkrishna Namdeo, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Safreen Khan, Children Against Dow Carbide
Please revisit www.bhopal.net for more information on the Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.
FOR DETAILS, SEE THE LINKS BELOW: