FAST-WITHOUT-WATER FOR JUSTICE IN BHOPAL

 

Day 2
19 June, 2004

Today was the second day of fast for Shahid Noor, Satinath Sarangi and Rashida Bee. Champa Devi and Wahid is sitting along with them but not fasting.

Vardrajan, Secretary of CITU, met with the satyagrahis and he has promised that he will talk to the Prime Minister regarding the issuance of the letter.

The delegation also met with Kapil Sibal (Minister of Communications), and he has also promised to talk to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Chemicals. Oscar Fernandez (Minister of planning and Development) also came to visit the Satyagrahis, and he has also said that he will talk to PM.

Rashida, Sathyu and Sahid are in get sprits and health wise they are also doing okay. Rashida asks us to convey her thanks to all of you.


Day 1.
18 June, 2004

Rashida Bee, Shahid Noor and Satinath Sarangi from Bhopal today launched their fast-without-water at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi braving a 40 degree celsius heatwave. Champa Devi, who alongwith Rashida Bee, received the 2004 Goldman Environment Prize, was unable to undertake the fast because of her high blood pressure and weak health.

More than 400 survivors from Bhopal attended the launch of the fast in Delhi. Besides 7 media people who visited the Satyagraha, the hunger strikers were paid a visit by Swami Agnivesh who promised to raise the matter with Ram Vilas Paswan and the Law Minister Mr. Bharadwaj. Agnivesh said the silence from the side of Government was very puzzling, and causes one to wonder if the Government wasn't once again selling out the interests of the people to protect the US multinational from liability.

Another NGO activist who is in close communication with Chemicals Minister Paswan reported that his attempts to secure an appointment with Paswan had, for the first time, met with no response. He too said he feels that there is something very irregular in the Government's silence and refusal to submit a letter to the New York court.

Justice (Retd) Krishna Iyer has already submitted to the Prime Minister a legal note stating that the Bhopal Act and the 1989 settlement do not address Union Carbide's liability on the issue of contamination and toxic wastes. A copy of this letter will be available tomorrow.

Adv. Indira Jaisingh and Adv. Rajeev Dhawan have also indicated their support for the survivors' demands and will submit their opinion to the Prime Minister and the Chemicals Minister.

Next steps:
On 22 June, 2004, the Bhopalis will hold a roundtable discussion with trade unions.
On 23 June, 2004, the Prime Minister has a meeting with trade unions where we hope the Bhopal issue will also be dealt with.

People are requested to get on the phone and call the Prime Minister or Paswan and ask them to submit the letter and end the waterless-fast by the Bhopalis.

Prime Minister: Office: +91 11 23012312 or 23018939
Fax: +91 11 23016857
Parliament : +91 11 23017660, Fax : +91 11 23014255
Residence : +91 11 23018939, Fax : +91 11 23019334

Chemicals Minister: Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan, Minister of Chemicals
Tel: 011 +91 11 23386519, 23386364. Fax: 011 +91-11-23015511
Email: mincf.cpc@sb.nic.in (cc jsc.cpc@sb.nic.in)

For those of you in the US, please call:
Mr. Ashok Tomar, New York Consul General.
Tel: 212 774 0600. Fax: 212 734 4980