Survivors' organisations announce indefinite fast in Bhopal beginning January 3, 2007

Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

December 03, 2006
PRESS STATEMENT
In a strongly-attended rally on the occasion of the 22nd Anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal four organisations jointly leading the survivors’ struggle condemned the role of the current Central and State governments in aiding the killers of Bhopal and prolonging the torture of the victims.
At the end of the rally at the Union Carbide factory, an effigy of a four limbed demon symbolizing the Dow Chemical Company with Anderson hiding behind it was set on fire by the protestors. The effigy held a chemical conical flask and a bag of money sitting atop bent figures symbolizing the Indian and state governments. In a meeting held near the memorial to the disaster, participants of the 800 kilometer long Bhopal-to-New Delhi march this year, were felicitated.
The leaders of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal ki Aawaaz and Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that the Indian government is making special efforts to help Union Carbide’s current owner American multinational The Dow Chemical Company to expand its toxic empire in India. They said these are similar to the special privileges earlier given to Union Carbide Corporation.
According to the organisations, a special task force in the Planning Commission is facilitating this company which is responsible for death and disease by Napalm, Agent Orange, Dursban and Dioxin all over the world to establish its factories in Haldia, West Bengal and Vishakhapattanam, Andhra Pradesh. Dursban, a pesticide banned in the USA since 2000 is being produced and sold by Dow Chemical in this country with the active collaboration of the Indian government.
The leaders said that they have presented evidence in the District Court in Bhopal to establish that Union Carbide Corporation continues to sell its products and technologies in India while absconding from justice in the criminal case on the disaster where the company is charged with culpable homicide, grievous assault and other offences.
The organisations have sought the confiscation of the proceeds of sale of Union Carbide’s technology to Reliance Industries in Jamnagar that runs in to crores of rupees. The organisations demanded penal action by the Indian government against Dow Chemical and its Indian subsidiaries for sheltering fugitive Union Carbide.
The organisations held the state government of Madhya Pradesh responsible for prolonging the torture of the victims of Union Carbide’s poisons. According to them the state government has demonstrated only apathy, incompetence and corruption in providing relief and rehabilitation of the affected people.
They said that the state government has failed to provide proper medical care, gainful employment, pensions and a healthy living environment to the Bhopal victims even after 22 years. They said it is in contempt of the Supreme Court of India for not providing safe drinking water following the Court’s order in May 2004.
The organisations will start on an indefinite fast from January 3, 2007 unless the state government accepts its demands for improving the condition of the people poisoned by Union Carbide.
The organisations acclaimed the recent lodging of a parliamentary motion in the Scottish Parliament calling on the Dow Chemical Company to ensure that its subsidiary Union Carbide submits to criminal justice in India and that Dow assumes responsibility for the long term medical, social and impact of the disaster. Survivors’ organisations have thanked Ms. Rosemary Byrne, Co Convenor of the Solidarity party of Scotland who tabled the motion on December 1 this year.
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
93031 32959
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
93290 26319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
98261 82226
Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
98261 67369
Contact : ICJB Office, House No. 60, Near Cold Storage, Union Carbide Road, Chhola, Bhopal
Please visit www.bhopal.net for more information on the campaign for justice in Bhopal

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