NEW DELHI: After walking for over a month through sometimes scorching heat, survivors of the deadly 1984 Bhopal gas leak arrived in the Indian capital yesterday demanding redress from India’s leaders.
“It’s been 21 years, it’s been too long,” said the some 40 men and women as they arrived at a park in central Delhi where other protesters greeted them with marigold garlands.
They had walked almost 800km from Bhopal, in central Madhya Pradesh state, starting on February 20.
The marchers demanded justice for the victims and survivors of the poisoning by 40 tonnes of lethal methyl isocyanate gas that seeped into Bhopal from a Union Carbide plant just before midnight on December 2, 1984.
Protesters are calling for better medical treatment, clean up of persisting pollution and the supply of uncontaminated piped water from a nearby dam to residents of neighbourhoods surrounding the factory, shut since the leak.
The survivors have threatened a hunger strike if their demands fail to get a positive response from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“We have received an assurance that the prime minister or Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi would meet with us between March 27 and 31,” Nityanand Jayaraman, spokesman for the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, said.