Survivors’ torchlight "Right to Live" procession accuses Chief Minister of criminal neglect of victims and colluding with the US chemical companies

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

February 23, 2007
PRESS STATEMENT
More than 400 survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal marched with burning torches to the Chief Minister’s residence today on the fourth day of their “Right to Life” campaign. The marchers condemned the Chief Minister’s continued indifference towards the suffering of the people poisoned by Union Carbide.
Leaders of the four organisations marching in the torch rally said that the apathy of the Chief Minister is evident from the fact that he has not responded to any of the petitions submitted to him since June 2006. The Chief Minister’s personal secretary promised that he would respond by February 20 but there has been no word from his office so far.
According to the Bhopal campaigners, the Chief Minister’s indifference towards the people poisoned by Union Carbide is prolonging their suffering and causing untimely deaths. They said that the state government has failed in providing economic rehabilitation to the victims who have lost their livelihood as a result of gas exposure. They held the Chief Minister responsible for starvation among thousands of gas affected families.
The leaders of the organisations said that as the state government continues its criminal negligence of the poisoned people of Bhopal, it is at the same time colluding with the corporations responsible for the ongoing disaster. They said that the state government has recently sought Rs. 2 Crores from the central government to incinerate part of the hazardous waste abandoned inside the Union Carbide factory.
The campaigners pointed out that the disposal of hazardous waste was the legal responsibility of American multinational Dow Chemical Company, the current owner of Union Carbide. They said that the state government was trying to use public funds to help Dow escape its liabilities in Bhopal. They demanded that instead of incinerating the waste which would produce extremely poisonous gases, the state government should arrange for containment of the waste for shipping to USA or other OECD countries for safe disposal.
Rashida Bi, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
94256 88215
Syed M Irfan,
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
93290 26319
Shahid Noor
Bhopal ki Aawaaz
98261 82226
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
98261 67369
Contact : 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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