Bhopal gas victims demand CBI probe
into Rs 400 crore `relief scam'
The Times of India, 25th November 2000

NEW DELHI: Survivors of the Bhopal gas leakage took to the streets here on Friday to demand a CBI probe into the relief and rehabilitation schemes and the victims' continuing plight even 15 years after the world's worst industrial disaster.

Marching under the banner of the Gas Peedit Nirashrit Morcha, more than 100 Bhopal gas disaster victims demonstrated at Jantar Mantar near Parliament House and also submitted a memorandum to the prime minister's office.

The demonstrators sought a CBI inquiry into the relief and rehabilitation schemes, specially in light of the CAG's indictment of the Madhya Pradesh government for alleged course over misappropriation of public money.

While the official records showed that Rs 400 crore had been spent on relief and rehabilitation, the sorry state of the survivors spoke volumes about the corruption and inefficiency rampant in the official machinery, they said.

Expressing disappointment that the Vajpayee-led government was just as "apathetic'' to the Bhopal disaster victims as the previous administrations, the memorandum said it was most shocking that Union Carbide Corp. USA, and its former chief Warren Anderson, the principal accused in the case, remained to be brought to justice.

Listing 22 demands on which action should be taken, the demonstrators said the Indian government should take immediate steps to extradite Warren Anderson and in the event of Union Carbide merging with Dow Chemicals, confiscate Dow's assets in India.

The government should also support the class action suit filed in the US courts by survivors' organisations and revive the special prosecution cell in the criminal case against Union Carbide India Ltd., the memorandum said. (UNI)