Protest against injustice in Bhopal continues in America

PRESS RELEASE- For Immediate Release

Protest against injustice in Bhopal continues in America; Overseas Indians protest in New York City, Boston and San Francisco.

Protest held to coincide with ongoing Indo-US CEO forum meet.

Protestors demand the Indian Government shun Backroom deals with corporations and the CEOs respect Law of land and clean up their own mess.

New York City, NY – Overseas Indians outraged by the injustice in Bhopal continued the protests against Indian Government’s lackadaisical attitude towards Bhopal tragedy survivors and against the DOW chemical company’s refusal to own up the responsibility and clean up the mess from the disaster that occurred 25 years ago.  Protestors showed their solidarity with Bhopal survivors by carrying placards which read “We all live in Bhopal” written in multiple languages. They highlighted the road map released by Bhopal survivors group and demanded that the Group Of Ministers (GoM) appointed by the Prime Minister implement the demands of the survivors in a timely manner.

Members of Asha for Education – Central New Jersey, Association for India’s Development – NYC, (AID Princeton?),  Sanhati and South Asia Solidarity Initiative met with consul general in New York Consulate and handed a petition with demands including Medical, Economic, Social and Environmental Rehabilitation, the bringing of charges of Criminal Liabilities against Indian and Foreign Accused, and the Environmental Liabilities and Action against crimes of The Dow Chemical Company, USA in India.

“The protest is not just about bringing the criminal corporation and its absconding CEO to trial immediately but more importantly the justice and a life of dignity for the Bhopal survivors and victims. We are here to stand by their demands of full compensation, medical rehabilitation, clean water and excavation of all toxic waste sans further delay” said Kasturi Basu of Asha for Education – CNJ chapter. “If BP can be made to pay up for its mess, so should DOW. Human life is priceless, no matter which side of the ocean”.

The protest, in front of the Indian consulate in New York City, attracted lot of passersby’s as protestors shouted slogans and sang songs in solidarity for more than 3 hours in sweltering heat. They gave fliers and patiently explained the issue to all those who stopped by.

Murli Natarajan, one of the organizers of the protest said “The big questions that we are raising today are: Whose interests do governments serve — the interests of their most vulnerable citizens whose lives have been devastated by a corporate crime or the interests of the investor classes from India, US and other global sites, the interests of those who place profits above people, and who really have no national interest? Bhopal is one of the earliest symbols of global profit mongering, better known as corporate globalization”.  He continued “We want all the Government officials and CEOs in Indo-US CEO forum to know that citizens of India are against their secret back-room deals and will not let them get away with this kind of corruption”.

Preeti Sampat, a PhD student from CUNY, a New York City based University, said “It is real shame on the Government of India and the Government of MP for their brutal negligence of this issue so far and they have unbelievably gotten away without delivering redress for 26 years. We are here to show our wholehearted solidarity with the survivors of Bhopal and we will not rest until their demands are met.”

Protestors carried posters of children of Bhopal who have severe malformation because of their parents’ exposure to the deadly gas.  Swathi Komandur, who was carrying the poster, said “Bhopal has been under toxic influence for 25 yrs with almost 3 generations of people suffering. The survivors are struggling from breathlessness, failing eyesight, painful stomachs, missing limbs and angry skins. The children of exposed parents are born with incapacities of varying degrees. The survivors of Bhopal need safe environment to live in.  The government and corporation should stop passing the buck and take action. We want the betterment of Bhopal where children can become healthier, happier and eventually be educated”.

Similar protests are happening tomorrow at Harvard Square, Boston and at Indian consulate, San Francisco. As one of the T-shirts worn by the protestors put the feeling of the Indian activists in the US in a few words, “We will not be silent”.

Contact:  Murli Natrajan, 973-570-3391, aman818@gmail.com
Siddhartha Mitra, 503-914-8425, mitra.siddhartha@gmail.com

More at: www.bhopal.net – http://bhopal.aidindia.org/ – www.studentsforbhopal.org

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