Press Statement 18 September 2014
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At noon today survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster, neighbourhood residents of the abandoned Union Carbide factory and their supporters locked themselves to the Chief Minister’s residence seeking adequate compensation and clean up of the contaminated factory site.
Outside the CM’s residence several carried out a die-in and hundreds of protesters gathered to remind the state government of its constitutional duties towards the victims of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.
Five survivors’ and supporters’ organisations who jointly led the protest said that today’s action was part of the recently announced campaign around the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
The organisations demanded that the state government revise the figures of death and injury in the curative petition for additional compensation and call for its urgent hearing.
They also demanded that the state government intervene in the legal action for clean up of the contaminated site that is ongoing in the US Federal court.
“The state government has presented the figure of 15348 deaths due to the gas disaster in all its official records but the curative petition in which it says only 5295 people died.” said Balkrishna Namdeo president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha.
“Through today’s actions we hope to inspire the Chief Minister to fulfill his 3 year old promise of ensuring Rs. 5 lakh as compensation for each gas victim. This can only happen if the state government revises the curative petition.” he said
Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information & Action said that 17 residents from the communities near the Union Carbide factory are seeking cleanup of contamination of soil and ground water through a suit against Union Carbide in the southern district court of New York.
“The US court has sent notice to the Madhya Pradesh government to appear in the case and present all facts but so far the government has chosen not to act. The government needs to intervene immediately because it is the owner of the factory and dumping sites that need to be cleaned up as the first priority”, he said.
The organisations held the central government equally responsible for the denial of adequate compensation and official apathy towards the critical issue of clean up of the poisoned land and water. They said that victims of gas exposure and contamination would undertake a fast without water in New Delhi to move the central government into action.
A delegation of the organisations had recently met with the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers, who is in charge of all matters concerning the Bhopal disaster. They have also conveyed the two demands and their decision to go on waterless fast to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister and the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers.
|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|
For more information visit: www.bhopal.net