Fast for a Clean Up in Bhopal
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Mr Singh, Mr Paswan, we add our voices to those who are fasting without water until you act
(l to r, Champa Devi, Satinath, Rasheeda and Shahid and Wahid)



To:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chemicals Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and their fellow Ministers in the Government of India


We, the undersigned, have each committed to fast a day or more unless your Government makes a statement declaring that it has “no objection” to the New York District Court ordering Union Carbide to clean up its derelict and contaminated factory site in Bhopal.

The soil and water of people living near the factory are being poisoned by toxic wastes and chemicals abandoned by Union Carbide. Many of those now suffering are the same people whose lives were already devastated by the gas leak of twenty years ago. It is the duty of your government to act in the best interests of these poor, not a foreign multinational corporation.

The issue of contamination is not covered by the Bhopal Act 1985 nor by the Settlement of 1989, and there is no legal reason why the Government of India should not send a letter to the Court. According to Mr. MC Mehta, Lawyer, 1996 Goldman Award winner, "this is a golden opportunity for the Indian government and it must make best use of it".

Most of us will fast on June 15th, when events are planned at many Indian embassies and consulates, but some of us will fast afterwards, in a rotating hunger strike leading up to the June 30th deadline for the Indian Government to make the statement to the Court.

Urgent action by your government is needed, and through our actions we hope to draw attention to the pressing need for a cleanup in Bhopal, and the Indian Government’s duty to act NOW.

BACKGROUND:

It is nearly 20 years snce the world’s worst-ever industrial disaster devastated the Indian city of Bhopal, but Union Carbide’s deadly legacy continues to haunt the city and its people. Toxic wastes abandoned by Union Carbide remain strewn in and around the factory site, representing an ongoing source of pollution. Poisons from these wastes have contaminated the groundwater serving more than 20,000 people.

After two decades of inaction by the company and the Government, survivors and residents from the contaminated areas filed a suit in the Southern District Court of New York seeking clean-up of the contamination by Union Carbide.

A March 17, 2004, order of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, USA, ruled that the survivors’ claims seeking clean-up by Union Carbide should be considered by the New York District Court if “THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT OR THE STATE OF MADHYA PRADESH SEEKS TO INTERVENE IN THIS ACTION OR OTHERWISE URGES THE COURT TO ORDER SUCH RELIEF.”

The New York District Court has given the Government of India until June 30, 2004, to submit such a letter. We urge the Indian Government to support the legal action initiated by survivors by writing immediately to the Southern District Court of New York and stating that it has “no objection” to a remediation of the plant site and groundwater by the Union Carbide Corporation.

It should be the responsibility of Union Carbide, not the Indian taxpayers, to clean up the wastes that Carbide left behind in Bhopal.

Sincerely,


The Undersigned

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The Fast for a Cleanup in Bhopal Petition to Indian Government was created by Students for Bhopal and written by Ryan Bodanyi.  This version adapted and updated by Bhopal.Net The petition is hosted at www.PetitionOnline.com as a public service. There is no endorsement of this petition, express or implied, by Artifice, Inc. or its sponsors. For technical support please use our simple Petition Help form.

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