Gas march with betrayal cry

Calcutta Telegraph, December 4, 2007
New Delhi, Dec. 3: Survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak will march to Delhi in February to protest the Centre’s alleged betrayal in their struggle for compensation and justice.
On the 23rd anniversary of the horrific incident in which toxic gases from the Union Carbide plant killed thousands overnight, activists working with the victims claimed that the money received by the government from the company in an out-of-court settlement in 1989 had not reached many of those affected.
Dow Chemicals, which acquired Union Carbide in 1999, faces a case of environmental damages of $500 million, filed by the Union ministry of chemicals and fertilisers.
The victims’ families and activists allege that the Prime Minister’s Office, the Planning Commission and the ministries of commerce and finance were pressuring the chemicals ministry to withdraw the charges.
“The Centre has systematically betrayed the interests of victims and survivors of Bhopal. Don’t be surprised if they decide to pull out of the case against Dow soon,” said Mira Shiva, a toxicologist.
A hundred survivors, including children, will participate in a padyatra starting on February 10 from Bhopal. They will reach Delhi by mid-March.

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