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THANKS FOR THEIR HELP TO
 
 
+ RESPINI FLEES THE BHOPALI JHADOO+
 



21 OCTOBER 2002

DOW'S SWISS BOSS FLEES CHAMPA DEVI'S JHAADOO -
"JHAADOO MARO DOW KO!"

 

 

HORGEN, SWITZERLAND, 21 OCTOBER

 

WE'VE JUST HAD A CALL from Champa Devi and Pranay (second and third from left) who are in sunny Switzerland. The pair, both gas-survivors from Bhopal, have been staging a sit-in outside Dow's European Headquarters along with Greenpeace Switzerland members.

Dow Europe's CEO Respini grudgingly agreed to see the delegation and said he could find only five minutes to spare for them. Champa Devi used those minutes to reject Dow's offer to make a "humanitarian gesture" in Bhopal and reminded Respini that the survivors are asking for their legal rights, not for alms. She enumerated the campaign's four demands.

Champa Devi then ceremonially presented a "jhadoo" [broom] to Respini. "This, for some reason made him scared and run away from the room", reported Pranay.

We await Pranay's full report on the campaign so far in Switzerland.


"Jhadoo Maro Dow Ko!" (or "Beat Dow with a broom") is an initiative of the women survivors. Jhadoo actions in which Dow management are presented with brooms and told to clear up their death factory in Bhopal have so far happened in Bhopal, Switzerland and the US. If you would like to carry out a "Jhaadoo" action, and would like some Bhopali brooms, please contact us on
ukjusticeinbhopal@virgin.net
   
 

MEANWHILE...CBI WILL MOVE FOR DOW TO STAND TRIAL AS ACCUSED NUMBER #10

BHOPAL, 18 OCTOBER

We heard today from C. Sahay, prosecuting counsel for the CBI (Criminal Bureau of Investigation) that his client wants Dow Chemical Corporation to join its wholly owned subsidiary Union Carbide in the dock at the Central Criminal Court, Bhopal. Carbide, along with its ex-CEO Warren Anderson is accused of "culpable homicide" for its part in events leading to the leak of toxic gas which killed thousands on the night of 3rd December 1984 in Bhopal. Both Carbide (Accused #10) and Anderson (Accused #1) have been ignoring the summonses of the Court since 1992 and have been declared official "absconders from justice".

Dow Chemical, said Mr Sahay, is the 100% owner of Union Carbide Corporation and on this basis the CBI will seek permission from the Union government to name Dow alongside its criminally absconding subsidiary. Once permission is granted, Dow Chemicals will also be an accused in the case.

Under Indian law, as under US, UK and European law, a company which buys another company acquires not only its assets, but also its oustanding debts, liabilities and legal obligations. Dow Chemical has already accepted Carbide's asbestos liabilities in the United States. It has so far refused to accept Carbide's Bhopal liabilities on the grounds that all civil and criminal liabilities were extinguished by the 1989 settlement between Union Carbide and the then Indian Government of Rajiv Gandhi. Dow seems unable to remember or perhaps to grasp that the settlement was modified by the Indian Supreme Court's decision of 1991, specifically reviving the criminal charges - the same criminal charges from which Union Carbide and Anderson have been hiding ever since.

The move to name Dow as accused in the case came in response to the plea of Jai Prakash of Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahayoga Samiti, a survivor's organisation. Dow management in the United States should reflect that they were warned, both by survivors' groups and by their own shareholders, that buying Carbide would inevitably mean assuming liability for Bhopal and that Dow's assets in India would then come under threat. (Carbide's assets have long since been attached by the Court.)

Champa Devi spoke for all the survivor's organisations when she emphatically rejected Dow's disingenuous offer of a "humanitarian gesture" and told Dow Europe's CEO Respini in Switzerland yesterday that the corporation had no option but to accept its legal liabilities.