Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari

Bhopal Group for Information and

Bhopal

Sangh

Action


Contact: A 542, Housing Board Colony, Aishbag, Bhopal Tel: 757619


Press Statement
     February 12, 2001

Survivors organisations in Bhopal today called for militant action against the US company, Dow Chemical, who recently merged with Union Carbide Corporation, USA - the company responsible for the December 1984 gas disaster.

Mr Balkrishna Namdeo, Convenor, Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal, condemned the merger as "a sinister design for making the hated name Union Carbide disappear from public memory". "There is no doubt that the merged entity will inherit the criminal and environmental liabilities of killer Carbide" he said.

"They will also inherit the wrath of the hundreds of thousands of victims and their worldwide supporters who continue to struggle for justice in Bhopal," said Mrs Rashida Bi, President, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh.

Both the organisations communicated their concerns to the senior executives of the Dow Chemical Company through a letter in August 1999, when the merger plans were announced. The organisations received no response to their demands that Dow accept the pending liabilities related to the death and injury of people in Bhopal, release medical information withheld by Union Carbide and pay for economic rehabilitation and the clean up of the contaminated soil and ground water in and around the Bhopal factory.

"We have received no response from Dow’s executives" said Mr Namdeo and Mrs Rashida. "Our words have failed to move them", the leaders asserted, "but our actions will".

Mr Satinath Sarangi, member of Bhopal Group for Information and Action, stressed that "The Government of India must immediately proceed against Dow Chemicals for their pending criminal liabilities in Bhopal." He also spoke of the Indian government’s apathy towards Dow selling their chemical product, ‘Dursban’ for household use in India. "Dursban" he said, "has been banned in the USA for its damaging effects on the brain, particularly those of growing children".

"Let us hope that our government will carry out its responsibilities with regard to prosecuting Dow for the crimes of Carbide," said Mr Sandeep Sharma, a local lawyer supporting the organisations. He was hopeful that "the merger will provide fresh opportunities for the victims to achieve justice." "Judicial orders against Union Carbide have remained unenforceable because of the company fleeing the country. Dow already has a presence here and has recently announced plans for investing US $1 billion in India", he said.

Balkrishna Namdeo,
Convenor,
Rashida Bi, President, Satinath Sarangi, Member,
Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh Bhopal Group for Information and Action