Gas victims hold Dow Chemicals accountable for Carbide's crimes
Free Press News Service 13th March 2001


BHOPAL: The survivors of Bhopal gas tragedy on Monday launched a "Campaign for Justice in Bhopal" and held Dow Chemicals accountable for the Union Carbide disaster in the city in December 1984.

Leaders of the organisations who returned last week after meeting the Country Director of Dow Chemical International Private Ltd. in Mumbai, outlined the future course of action to be taken nationally and internationally to secure justice to residents of the city. Dow Chemicals and Union Carbide had recently announced their merger in the United States.

Rashida Bi, president, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh while addressing the press conference said gas-affected are badly annoyed over delay in justice. She said Dow Chemicals should shoulder the responsibility for the gas disaster as Union Carbide is no longer in existence. She was annoyed over the response given by the Dow Chemical office in Mumbai, where they were told that responsibility is of Union Carbide is not their responsibility.

The organisations of survivors in Bhopal and their supporters have been demanding that following its merger with Union Carbide Corporation, USA, The Dow Chemical Company must accept the criminal and environmental liabilities of Bhopal. "After merging with Union Carbide, Dow now has the blood of the people of Bhopal on its hands. On February 28, 300 of us stormed Dow’s Mumbai office and told them so," said Rashida Bi. She further said the management was so scared by this small action they felt the need to have a police officer armed with a gun sitting next to Dow's Country Director during our discussion.

The "Campaign for Justice in Bhopal", said Abdul Jabbar, Convenor Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udhyog Sangathan, "is now being formed nationally and internationally. Trade unions, students organisations, women’s groups and human rights networks in Bombay, Delhi, Bangalore and other cities have already expressed strong support to nail the culprits of the disaster in Bhopal."

Jabbar stressed that the fight to make Dow accountable for Carbide’s crimes in Bhopal will be very much a part of the movement against globalisation in this country.