Tag Archives: corruption

Government protected Anderson: former CBI Director

INDUSTRY, IMPARTIALITY, INTEGRITY, says the badge of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the national equivalent of America’s FBI.

Not according to its former Joint Director B. R. Lall, who was the senior officer in charge of the Bhopal investigation from April 1994 to July 1995.

Lall, clearly nettled by criticisms that his organisation neglected its duty while he was in charge, went on Indian television to reveal that the CBI, which is run out of an obscure department headed by the Prime Minister, received a written communication from the Ministry of External Affairs instructing it not to proceed with the extradition of Warren Anderson.

“CBI investigation was influenced and commanded by some officials, as a result the justice in the Bhopal Gas leakage case got delayed, hence, denied.”

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“The Government took away all our fields and land, now they ask us to leave our homes”

ANGUISH OF THE DISPLACED PEOPLE OF NAAMKOM BLOCK
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Report by Dayamani Barla (above), translated by Vidya Jonnalagadda
The displaced people of Gurutoli and Paahantoli in Naamkom Block are eking out a living to put together a couple of modest meals a day by toiling as daily casual labor, and selling grass and country liquor. The financial constraints keep them from providing either decent education to their children or adequate treatment for their sick and ailing. There is no one at all to pay attention to these displaced folks. It seems that hunger, poverty, ill-health and flight (to the cities) is all that is left in their fate. Battling against financial difficulties, these women have themselves started to seek ways to provide timely medical treatment to their families, education to their children, and livelihood for themselves. They have organized into the Nayi Kiran Women’s Association to empower themselves. Under this scheme, each member contributes five rupees a week towards a Women’s Fund. These displaced women have determined to solve their problems themselves.
Continue reading “The Government took away all our fields and land, now they ask us to leave our homes”

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Singur: where the left turns right

M J Vijayan, Tehelka, December 23, 2006
The CPM machinery has gone into overdrive in Singur to secure the Tata deal; it has left the peasantry, its constituency, totally in the cold

In the interests of informed debate on issues of prime importance, one should welcome the CPM campaign in the media with its ‘truths’ stating the official CPM position on the Singur issue. However, there is much that compels us to differentiate between ‘facts’ and party propaganda.
Continue reading Singur: where the left turns right

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Tuesday 28th, late evening: 55 year old woman marcher knocked unconscious by a blow is threatened with surgical exploration of her abdomen "Then you’ll really have pain"

FROM SARVADARSHI IN DELHI
SENT 9.30pm IST, RECEIVED 17:05 BRITISH SUMMER TIME

4pm IST, Bano Bee, 55, is struck in the chest and knocked unconscious

Her limp body is carried away by police…And placed in a jeep

At 4.01pm IST a kick in the chest knocks Ashraaf Bee, 60, senseless. Both women had walked 800km to see the Prime Minister

Bano Bee and Ashraaf Bee were taken unconscious from the rally and left at Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, a hospital chosen by the police.

The conditions in the hospital were horrendous. Neither Ashraaf Bee nor Bano Bee were given their own bed, but were stuffed onto single beds with other, unrelated patients.

They were extremely distraught about the way they were treated both by the police and by the doctors in the casualty ward.

The doctor accused Bano Bee who is 55 years old, of malingering and threatened to explore her abdomen surgically to reveal the truth. “Then you’ll really have pain,” the doctor told her, “You can hold your stomach and walk around in pain instead of pretending.”

The hospital refused to let them see their own chest x-rays, giving them instead only a written report that they were fine.

They have been released and are back at the camp near Humayun’s tomb. We have decided they need independent medical examination because we suspect that the hospital is in collusion with the police to minimise and falsify their injuries. Right now they are waiting for some other doctors to arrive at the camp.

JAIL UPDATE, 22:43 IST, 18:13 BST

We don’t have an exact number of people originally arrested in front
of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, but we estimate it to be
between 200 and 300. We do know that among those arrested were 35
children (age 12 and under), including many infants.

Within just a few hours, the police offered to drop everybody off at
Jantar Mantar, where they could be cordoned off and comfortably
controlled by the police. But these Bhopalis were absolutely livid at
how they had been treated after walking 800 km. They refused the
offer, realizing the cops desperately wanted them out of their
custody. The police had neither the time nor the resources to do the
paperwork as well as feed and shelter so many people all at once. The
Bhopalis did not want to let these these thugs off so easily — how
dare they yank and drag them across the pavement from where they were
sitting peacefully, stuff them in buses, cart them to the jail, and
then hope for it all to end conveniently for themselves. People
started shouting spontaneously, “We are not afraid! We will spend the
night in jail!”

The police were slowly beginning to realize they had underestimated
how tough and determined the padyatris and other Bhopalis are. After
a bold stand by 38 people who were then arrested and jailed, the
police decided that even a few Bhopalis were far more than they wanted
to deal with, and all the remaining arrestees were separated and
compelled to leave.

Currently, everyone is out of jail.

BHOPAL.NET COMMENT

The day had started off peacefully in the spirit of the long march, which had been marked by songs and dancing, and the walkers nurturing a naive trust that the Prime Minister of India would listen to their problems.

The marchers and their supporters from Bhopal, among whom were whole families with children, had gone to hold a rally outside the Ministry of Chemicals. The “Bhopal Cell” in this ministry is ultimately responsible for the well-being of the survivors of the gas- and water-catastrophes.

There were so many police outside the ministry that the photographer who took these pictures could hardly see the Bhopalis, who were outnumbered by the cops.

The crowd of Bhopalis, which was there by arrangement, had no idea of what was about to happen. The picture below was taken at 15:36 IST, shortly before the police attacked.

15:42 IST and still no inkling of what lay ahead.

Madhumitta Dutta, who had been talking to the police, was the first to be grabbed.

A minute after the previous picture was taken, with fear spreading among the mothers with young children, Ashraaf Bee was kicked in the chest and collapsed.

Women with children were not spared. There were between 200-300 people in the crowd of Bhopalis, a large number of them were children. Some children had been brought from Bhopal precisely because it is their young generation which is bearing the pain caused by Carbide’s birth-defect causing chemicals. Look at the children on this page and read their stories.

35 children under 12 years old were taken into police custody.

Even as the police buses, ordered up and on the spot before the marchers and their families even arrived, carried them away, the people were singing.

Throughout every footsore mile of their extraordinary journey, these people have refused to be daunted, have kept up their spirits with dancing and song. This setback will only strengthen their determination to win justice.

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Vultures not quite extinct in India

More than 2000 Bhopal survivors and their supporters will demonstrate in Delhi on October 26 to protest against those who are trying to grab a share of the undistributed compensation fund that the Supreme Court has ruled belongs solely to the survivors of Union Carbide’s 1984 gas disaster.

At the head of the line with its hand out is the Madhya Pradesh government which until recently has been ignoring a Supreme Court to pipe clean water into areas whose wells have been poisoned by toxic chemicals abandoned at Carbide’s factory.

The Bharatiya Janata Party would like the survivors’ money to be distributed in parts of the city that were unaffected by the gas. As bhopal.net commented a few weeks ago, it would be a first, asking the Supreme Court to sponsor mass bribery of voters.

The most shamefully cynical application for a share of the survivors’s money comes from the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust, established controversially by the sale of Union Carbide shares which had been seized by a Bhopal court following the corporation’s refusal to appear before it to face charges of culpable homicide. The Supreme Court justice who allowed sale of the shares against the wishes of survivors now sits on the board of trustees of the hospital.

Carbide’s hospital numbers among its facilities a swimming pool and other luxuries for staff, and expensive state-of-the-art operating theatres for heart surgery and other conditions which have nothing to do with the catastrophic health problems suffered by survivors. The reason is not far to seek, after 8 years it will be able to take lucrative private patients and as a BMHT PR lady incautiously admitted to a foreign visitor whom she imagined to be a sympathiser, “Frankly, we can’t wait for the day when we’ll no longer have to treat gas victims.”

The BMHT routinely turns away from its gates gas victims who have not the required paperwork and the practices in its four community clinics have been seriously questioned.

To put all this in perspective, even if the survivors get the money which is theirs by right, it will amount to something of the order of 5p a day for the 20 years over which they have been suffering and for many will not be enough to erase debts incurred paying medical expenses, nor to compensate for loss of livelihoods.

The treatment of the people of Bhopal by the corporation and a succession of Indian politicians has been shameful and inexcusable. Please do not stand by. Join with us in supporting the survivors in their long fight for justice. This website offers many ways to help.

October 24, 2004
Press Statement

Over 2000 survivors of the December 1984 Union Carbide disaster will take part in a rally at Jantar-Mantar, New Delhi on October 26 to press their demand for immediate distribution of the balance of compensation amount of over Rs. 1567 crores.

On the same day, the Supreme Court of India is expected to decide on the applications filed by the Madhya Pradesh Government, Bharatiya Janata Party, Bhopal Hospital Trust, Union of India and the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan with regard to the Supreme Court’s July 19th decision regarding distribution of the balance of compensation amount.

The survivors under the leadership of Rashida Bee, Champa Devi Shukla, Syed M Irfan and Shahid Noor will travel by four trains Pathankot Express, Dakshin Express, Malwa Express and Bhopal Express to register their protest against the parties responsible for causing delay in the distribution of the amount.

According to the survivors, the Bharatiya Janata Party is coming in the way of speedy distribution of compensation to the survivors by pushing for distribution of compensation to the residents of the 20 municipal wards that remained unaffected by the disaster.

The survivors’ leaders also expressed anger at the Madhya Pradesh government’s attempt to usurp part of the compensation money that rightfully belongs to the survivors. They also condemned the Bhopal Hospital Trust’s application before the Supreme Court seeking a share of the compensation money.

The leaders asserted the legal right of the survivors over the entire sum left after the distribution of compensation and called for immediate distribution of the amount in view of the dire need of the gas affected population.

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

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