Police brutally beat women protesters

May 17, 2005
Press Statement by Bhopal Survivors’ Groups
Over 200 residents from the communities affected by ground water contamination due to Union Carbide’s toxic chemical waste today stormed the office of the Director, Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation as part of their “Neend Udaao” (Wake-Up) campaign.
Banging steel plates the residents, most of them women, demanded full implementation of the May 7, 2004 order of the Supreme Court with regard to supply of water by the state government. According to their leaders – Rashida Bee, Syed M Irfan, Shahid Noor, Nawab Khan and Hajra Bi, residents of several communities are forced to drink water contaminated with poisonous and cancer-causing chemicals from their hand pumps due to inadequate supply of potable water.
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In today’s protest police beat up women with batons and verbally abused all the woman. 7 people were arrested and 4 people were admitted to hospital with injuries. Satinath Sarangi was badly beaten up the police. Pictures are from a different occasion when police beat women.
Women demonstrating at the Director’s office expressed their frustration at the fact that despite the passage of one year, the state government is yet to implement the decision of the Supreme Court order fully. The women pointed out that only 14 % of the required amount of water was being supplied and several communities had no supply at all. They said many in their communities were suffering from cancers, stomach pain, giddiness, skin disorders, menstrual irregularities, headache and other health problems from drinking water from local hand pumps. They complained that the poisons in the ground water were stunting the growth of their children and were affecting their mental development.
The women waved copies of the written promise of the Director, Department of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief & Rehabilitation on October 14, 2004 to bring about improvement in “quality and increasing the quantity of water currently supplied through tankers.” The women demanded that considering the serious health damages caused due to the insufficient supply of potable water – the breach of promise and deliberate negligence of public officials should be punishable as criminal acts.
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
9303132298
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
9329026319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
9303122784
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
9826167369
Contact :
House No. 12, Gali No. 2, Near Naseer Masjid, Bag
Umrao Dulha, Bhopal 462 010
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

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