Press Statement: “Bhopal Gas Survivors in Mumbai Hold Press Conf & Direct Action Against Dow Chemical”

Press Statement                 16 October 2014

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster, more than a 100 Bhopal survivors arrived in Mumbai to remind the city that Union Carbide’s owner, Dow Chemical operates a 100 percent subsidiary in the city. They sought Mumbaikars’ support to make Dow Chemical honour its civil, criminal and environmental liabilities in Bhopal. Addressing a press conference today, representatives said they will embark on a two-day campaign to raise awareness in the city about Dow Chemical’s continuing liabilities in Bhopal.

Nawab Khan president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said, “Dow Chemical took over Union Carbide in 2001 but refuses to honour Union Carbide’s pending legal liabilities in Bhopal. As 100 % owner of Union Carbide, Dow Chemical’s position – we can’t be liable for a factory we never ran – is against the laws of India and USA.” he said.

According to the scientific reports by several government agencies including the Indian Institute for Toxicology Research, Lucknow, the area in and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory site is contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals from recklessly dumped hazardous waste. As per the lease agreement, Dow Chemical must clean up the site as the contamination is spreading beyond 22 communities and finding new victims.

“In owning Union Carbide, Dow Chemical is also sheltering a fugitive from justice that is charged with homicide and other serious offences” said Balkrishna Namdeo president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha. “The Bhopal District Court where the criminal case on the disaster is still pending has summoned Dow Chemical to appear before November 12 and explain why it continues to shelter Union Carbide. We are in Mumbai to remind Dow Chemical to honour the Bhopal court’s summons.” he said.

The organizations stated that the settlement amount of 470 million dollars paid by Union Carbide in 1989 was not based on actual figures of death and injuries caused by the disaster. “Both the governments at the centre and the state have filed curative petitions in the Supreme Court asking for additional compensation for the gas disaster. Dow Chemical must pay this instead of fighting against it because lives of thousands are at stake.” said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group of Information & Action.

Rashida Bi,Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh94256 88215 Nawab Khan,Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha8718035409 Balkrishna Namdeo,Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha9826345423 Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,Bhopal Group for Information and Action9826167369 Safreen Khan,Children Against Dow Carbide

 

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