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To,

The Prime Minister
Government of India

 

Through,
The Personal Secretary to the Prime Minister
Prime Minister's Office
North Block
New Delhi 110 001

Fax No. 011-3019545

March 17, 2000

Sub : Urgent Issues concerning National Sovereignty and Justice with regard to the December 1984 Union Carbide Disaster in Bhopal to be raised before President Bill Clinton during his upcoming visit.

Adaraniya Atalji,

The upcoming visit of Mr. Bill Clinton is a fitting occasion to raise the lingering issues of the December 1984 massacre in Bhopal caused by the American multinational, Union Carbide Corporation. You must be aware that the perpetrators of this world's worst industrial disaster, who demonstrate reckless and depraved indifference to human life till today are yet to face trial, let alone be punished for their crimes against humanity. The Corporation and its former Chairman continue to abscond courts in India with impunity. This is sending a strong message to all foreign corporations that they can prey upon the life and health of Indian citizens.

It is also a matter of national shame that a foreign Corporation responsible for the death of over 20,000 and injury of half a million Indians goes unscathed and unpunished till today. In the name of globalization we now witness growing foreign investment in hazardous industries in our country and the spectre of other Bhopal-like disasters looms large over the entire country. It is the most profound wish of the survivors of the disaster who continue to suffer and die today that such a disaster should not occur anywhere, ever. This, you will agree, Sir, can only be ensured through exemplary punishment of Union Carbide and its officials.

Studies by the Indian Council of Medical Research and such international agencies such as the International Medical Commission on Bhopal show that hundreds of thousands of survivors in Bhopal are still in need of special medical care, monitoring and research facilities. Thousands of families who are on the brink of starvation as a result of death or debilitation of their breadwinners are in need of social support. In the interest of justice and to ensure adequate funds for longterm care and rehabilitation, it is essential that Union Carbide Corporation is made to accept continuing liability for the disaster. Yet another urgent matter is the contamination of groundwater and soil in the vicinity of the now closed killer factory in our midst. Recently Greenpeace named this site a "global toxic hotspot" and their report indicates severe contamination of land and drinking water supplies with heavy metals and carcinogenic chemicals as a result of reckless dumping by the Corporation.

Sir, we, the survivors’ organizations from Bhopal still cherish the memory of your vigorous opposition to the settlement between Union Carbide and the Government of India. We remember your participation in the demonstration against the collusive settlement and subsequent courting of arrest on February 24, 1989. We also remember your very active support to the letter campaign against the settlement that was joined by over 120 members of parliament. As an active supporter in our long struggle for justice and as our premier democratic representative we would like you to raise these issues with Mr. Clinton during his upcoming visit.

The lingering issues related to the Union Carbide disaster are issues of national concern. Your personal and official stance on these issues will determine how prepared we are, as a nation, to face the might of marauding multinationals in these times of globalization. We hope to be able to discuss with you other long neglected problems of the survivors that are the responsibility of the Indian government. We request you to find time to meet with our delegation of five at any time during our visit to New Delhi on March 23, 2000.

We await your response.

Thanking you.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Abdul Jabbar
Convenor
Bhopal Gas Peedit          
Mahila Udyog
Sangathan
Balkrishna Namdeo
Convenor
Bhopal Gas Peedit
Nirashrit Pension Bhogi
Sangharsh Morcha
Rashida Bi
President
Bhopal Gas Peedit
Mahila Stationery
Karmchari Sangh

Tel: 0755 – 242727 0755 – 757619 0755 - 759364

Contact address : 51, Rajendra Nagar, Bhopal 462 010

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