Press Statement for Nov 8, 2010: President Obama in India

Press Statement

November 8, 2010

Hundreds of survivors of the December ’84 gas disaster in Bhopal and people exposed to groundwater contaminated by hazardous wastes from Union Carbide’s abandoned factory demonstrated at Jantar Mantar today demanding positive action by the US President in the case of the worlds worst industrial disaster caused by a US corporation.

The five organizations jointly leading the victim’s of toxic exposure demanded that Mr. Obama take action against the US Corporations Dow Chemical and Union Carbide for their continuing crimes in Bhopal.

Mrs. Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said “Because of these two American Corporations, today over a hundred thousand people are chronically ill and hundreds are dying untimely deaths in Bhopal. Hundreds of babies are being born with horrific malformations and their parents suffer damages to the liver, kidney and lungs and brain.”

Expressing her disappointment at the absence of a response from the White House to the Bhopal survivors’ request for a meeting with the US President, Rashida commented on the company the US President has chosen to keep during his India visit. “In Mumbai he has a spent almost an entire day with the USIBC, a business advocacy organization in which Dow Chemical, current owner of Union Carbide, is a member with a special status, yet he has not found a few minutes to talk to the people who have suffered the miseries heaped by two of his country’s largest corporations.”

Mr. Balkrishna Namdeo, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha condemned USIBC President, Ron Sommers’ recent statement that US investors will take offence to Indian government’s legal action against Dow Chemical or Union Carbide on Bhopal. “USIBC is openly advocating that US Corporations behave like outlaws in India” he said.

Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that for the last 18 years the US government has not taken a single step against Union Carbide Corporation or its former Chairman Warren Anderson who are charged with manslaughter and other serious offences and are absconding from Indian courts. He said that Dow Chemical refuses to own up its legal liability of decontaminating the land in and around the factory site in Bhopal and for last five years the corporation has maintained that it is outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.

The organizations said that as the promoter of US corporate interests in India it was the US President’s moral responsibility to ensure legal accountability of US corporations operating in this country.

Syed M Irfan
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha Mob. 9329026319

Rashida Bee
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh Mob. 9425688215

Balkrishna Namdeo
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha Mob. 9826345423

Safreen Khan
Children Against Dow-Carbide Mob. 9826994797

Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi
Bhopal Group for Information and Action Mob. 9826167369

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