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Bhopal.Net's front page has a new design, which should be faster to download and easier to navigate. Our page of press coverage has had a revamp, with newest stories now appearing at the top. The Eye on Dirty Dow page is regularly updated, so please keep checking.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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+ LATEST NEWS + LATEST NEWS + LATEST NEWS +
(for earlier news please visit our archives)
       
    ICJB US Tour presents...

Screening of Bhopal Express with discussion

Sunday, April 27th, University of Texas, Austin

More details here.

       
   

Indian government to explain inaction over Anderson

Committee on Government Assurances gives withering indictment of Central Government apathy, finding it too reluctant or not serious enough in pursuing prime accused's extradition.

Read the full story here.

 

       
   

Supreme Court tells Indian Government to explain delay in compensation money

Survivors petition alleges that rights of equality before law and right to life have been violated due to non-payment of interest on the compensation amount.

20th April - the Indian government now has one week left in which to provide detailed answers to issues raised in a writ petition filed by survivors in the Supreme Court on March 5th. The writ petition, filed on behalf of 36 survivors representing the 36 municipal wards declared to be gas affected, concerns the balance of the original $470 million compensation funds that remain undistributed to gas survivors, estimated by the office of the Welfare Commissioner to be Rs. 1360 crore ($272 million) - or over 200 crore more than has so far been distributed to some 566,000 claimants. The petition alleges that non-payment of interest to Bhopal claimants violates the provisions under the Indian Interest Act [1978].

Over the last year, both central and MP state governments have, with staggering insensibility, attempted to use the remaining money for their own purposes: to distribute it to non-affected wards; to build a water pipeline from the Narmada river to Bhopal; most incredibly of all, to clean up the festering mess Carbide has left at the factory site. At the same time, the majority of compensation claimants have received an average of R 3.7 (7 US cents) per day since exposure - enough for a single glass of chai.

See news reports here and here.
See the survivors press statement here.
Read the full text of the writ petition here.

       
   

Bhopalis protest the business of war

As corporate complicity in Iraqi weapons programme uncovered

Bhopal's citizens have taken to the streets to make clear their opinion of the US led War on Iraq. One of the fundamental hypocrisies of the Bush-Blair campaign has not escaped the attention of people in Bhopal: that the pretext for the assault on Iraq, Weapons of Mass Destruction, serves to highlight the complicity of the US and European corporations who profited from supplying materials used in Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programme - among them our old friends - take a bow - Dow and Union Carbide. That's right; Dow and Carbide have been named as two of the US companies implicated the scandal of Iraq's materials of mass destruction.

Read Paul Rockwell's excellent summary of the story , and the fuller story here.

See photos of one of Bhopal's recent anti-war protests

       
   

Over 50 UK M.P.s support the ICJB!

On the 24th March Halifax M.P. Alice Mahon filed Early Day Motion 933 in the UK parliament in support of the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal's efforts to make Dow and Union Carbide face up to their moral and legal responsibilities in Bhopal. The motion also applauds the ICJB's efforts on the extradition of Warren Anderson, mentioning the work of the Sambhavna clinic. To date, 53 M.P.s have signed onto it.

See the full list of signatories and text of the EDM here.

 

       
   

US Class Action Decision latest
Survivors announce their appeal, calling Judge Keenan's decision 'a glaring instance of juridical predjudice'

Judge John F Keenan's March 18th decision in the Southern District Court of New York dismissing the Bhopal survivors' civil damages lawsuit will be appealed within the next 20 days. As part of their appeal survivors will request that Judge Keenan be removed from the case forthwith. This is the third time that Judge Keenan has thwarted attempts to prosecute Carbide in the US, and the latest decision makes no effort to conceal its bias. The plaintiffs have, however, expressed their hope that the Appellate Court will remedy this "travesty of justice".

Read the March 25th statement by survivors' organisations
Read the full text of Judge Keenan's decision
Read our opinion of the decision

US District Court
       
    International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal presents...

Special screening of Bhopal Express

Another chance to see Mahesh Mathai's excellent film, starring Naseeruddin Shah, Zeenat Aman, Vijay Raaz and Nethra Raghuraman. (Language Hindi; English subtitles)

"The film Bhopal Express is a human drama set against the tragedy, through the eyes of a newly wed couple and their friend. The film examines the irresponsible methods of large corporations and their effects on common people.". More movie information on www.bhopalexpress.com.

WHEN:  Monday March 31st  7 pm
WHERE: Angelika Film Center, Theater # 2
510 Texas Avenue (Corner of Smith)
Houston, Texas  77002
713.225.1470
Directions: http://www.angelikafilmcenter.com/houston/directions.asp

All proceeds will go to the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal

For ticket reservations & more information please contact:
Gundu Krishnaveni
US Coordinator, International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (Coalition of environmental & social justice organisations led by women's survivor groups of 1984 Union Carbide gas disaster)
Tel +1 832 444 1731
Email  krishnaveni_g@sbcglobal.net

       
   

International Coalition for Justice in Bhopal activists today returned 250 gallons of heavily contaminated Bhopal water to its rightful owners in Houston, Texas, also preventing dirty Dow's daily business for several hours. Workers at the Houston Dow Center on Sam Houston Parkway South were only allowed to enter the facility on foot by activists chained to concrete filled barrels. The ICJB reiterated it's demands to Dow and invited the company to do the only decent thing and drop the two Indian lawsuits filed against poverty stricken Bhopal survivors. See letter here.

"We have returned toxic waste from Bhopal to Dow in India, in the Netherlands, and in Switzerland. Now we are returning this problem to Dow in the United States," said Champa Devi, Secretary of BGPMSKS, one of the largest survivor organizations. "Dow Chemical's reluctance so far to clean up the contamination and take responsibility for its pending liabilities in Bhopal is poisoning people daily and aggravating the suffering of survivors and their children."

Incredibly, the Texas Environmental Crimes Unit arrived in order to assess whether delivering the Bhopal water, which is closed in sealed containers, constituted an environmental crime committed on Dow property! Seemingly immune to the ironies of the situation, Dow's John Musser, the voice behind the company's public pr responses, said that Dow refused to drop its lawsuits and signalled Dow's intention to continue trying to avoid its Bhopal liabilities. The local police then arrested the 12 peaceful protesters.

Read more here.

Read the Houston Chronicle article here.


       
   

100 gas-affected women and their children today staged a peaceful protest in front of the Bhopal labour court in opposition to the Madhya Pradhesh government's incredibly callous move to appeal December's labour court ruling. The labour court had ordered the government to regularise the jobs of the women stationary workers belonging to the trade union Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karamchari Sangh, equalising their pay and benefits in line with other government workers and backdating the new rates of pay until April 1998. The government's appeal could set back the case several years, causing even more unnecessary hardship and suffering to women survivors who have now been earning below the poverty line for 16 years. The hearing of the case for appeal has been put back to April 4th, 2003.

See the press release here

       
   

Extraditing criminals is easy, just ask L.K. Advani. It seems all it needs the personal interest of the deputy Prime Minister and a co-operative foreign government. And a visit by the CBI. And the collective powers of the Attorney General and the Ministry of External Affairs. You don't even need an extradition treaty.

And so the CBI have almost got their man: according to Digvijay Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, Abu Salem is being thrown on the mercy of the Indian courts by Portugal. From start to finish the whole process has taken less than six months, or, 36 times quicker than the time Bhopal's survivors have been waiting for news on Anderson's extradition. How much longer, Mr Advani, Mr Sinha, Mr Singh?

Read about the Abu Salem extradition here

 

       
   

++ ACTION ALERT ++

Extradite Warren Anderson

On February 5th, during hearings at the CJM, Bhopal, the CBI counsel reconfirmed that papers related to extradition of Warren Anderson - wanted in connection with the deaths of more than 20,000 Indian citizens - were still lying with the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi. The MEA has been instructed in no uncertain terms by the Bhopal court to quickly secure Anderson's extradition, but has already been in possession of these papers since December. Given that India and the United States share an extradition treaty, formal channels must exist to expedite the extradition of accused criminals. In these circumstances, how long must it take to deliver a set of papers to the US authorities?

The case of the Mumbai gangster Abu Salem makes quite an instructive contrast. Though Abu Salem is not known to have committed crimes in the US, the FBI's office in Delhi, and their US based colleagues have, for the last few years, been helping the Indian government pursue him, first by pressuring the United Arab Emirates during his time there, then by tracking his movements in the US, which finally led to his Interpol arrest in Portugal last September. In a matter of days warrants were issued, and within weeks the Indian government sent the CBI to Portugal to negotiate Salem's extradition to India.

Considering Portugal and India do not share an extradition treaty, Deputy Prime Minister Mr L.K. Advani, as reported in the Hindu on Oct 9th, 2002, was upbeat about the chances bringing Salem back for trial: "I am fully satisfied with the level of cooperation with the concerned authorities in Lisbon. Our team has been able to lay the ground for pursuing the case on a strong wicket." At a well publicised briefing with Advani, the CBI, the MEA, and Attorney General Soli Sorabjee (the same official who recommended that Anderson's criminal charges be reduced due to a meek belief that his extradition from the US was unlikely to be granted), confidently plotted the details of Salem's extradition.

It seems that Dow-Carbide are not the only ones capable of glaring
double-standards. After 18 years of 'laying the ground', the matter of Anderson's extradition makes for a deafening silence.

You can help break that silence here.

       
   

Leading specialists from different medical disciplines called a press conference in Bhopal today to reveal how, eighteen years after the world's worst ever industrial disaster, Bhopalis are continuing to sicken and die as a result of the company's poisons. Top doctors, including a cancer speciallist, an endocrinologist and a cytogeneticist, spelled out the grim medical consequences, now clearly apparent, of exposure to the 1984 gases and of drinking water that continues to be poisoned. They called for more research to help determine treatment protocols. Union Carbide (now Dow Chemical) holds years of research into the effects of MIC, but has never released them to help the Bhopal victims, claiming they are 'trade secrets'. The Bhopal experience shows MIC is a carcinogen. People are also getting sick from drinking water polluted by the abandoned factory, which Dow Chemical refuses to clean up.

Read the full Press Statement here

See extended story about birth defects
in Bhopal on www.bhopal.org

       
   

Your chance to see Mahesh Mathai's excellent film 'Bhopal Express' starring Naseeruddin Shah, Zeenat Aman, Vijay Raaz and Nethra Raghuraman.

14 January 2003 at Visions Theatre, Dupont Circle, Washington DC.
Shows, 7pm and 9pm.

For more information contact Debi Kar at debikar@angelfire.com or Casey Harrell at casey.harrell@wdc.greenpeace.org. 202.319.2497

The event is being organised by Greenpeace, Association for Indian Development and DC Indymedia Center.

 

FOR DECEMBER AND EARLIER STORIES, PLEASE VISIT OUR ARCHIVE