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Survivors ask Chief Minister to withdraw false cases

DOWNLOAD THE LETTER IN THE ORIGINAL HINDI

 

To,
The Chief Minister
Government of Madhya Pradesh
Mantralaya, Vallabh Bhawan
Bhopal, M.P.

25 January 2012

Sub: Application for withdrawal of criminal cases against over 2000 gas victims in connection with the incident of violence on the 27th anniversary of the Union Carbide gas disaster in Bhopal.

Respected Chief Minister,

We, five organisations of victims of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal and their supporters are sending this letter to you with the hope that you will consider the facts and arguments regarding the incident of violence on 27th anniversary of the gas disaster (3 December 2011) presented below and arrive at a rational and just decision and accordingly issue directions for appropriate action.

1.The following facts related to the protest action by survivors under the leadership of us, five organizations on December 3, 2011 deserve consideration

A.The protest was centered on a legitimate demand
Through this protest, we were demanding that the governments at the centre and state carry out necessary corrections in the figures of deaths and injuries caused by Union Carbide based on figures of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and hospitals meant for gas affected people in the curative petition filed in the Supreme Court.

We were only demanding that the governments at the centre and state act honestly towards obtaining proper compensation from the American companies and the first demonstration of this would be the presentation of correct figures in the curative petition pending before the Supreme Court because currently the figures are much lower than actual and are wrong.

We were not pushing for some new figures. All we were doing was seek revisions in the curative petition on the basis of findings of the scientific institutions and medical documentation of the government’s at the center and the state.

B.We had communicated this demand to the state government in July 2011, but for six months we received no reply. We had sent letters to your office on 25 July 2011, 17 October 2011 and on 19 November 2011 demanding revision in the figures of death and injury as presented in the curative petition before the Supreme Court by the state government. However we did not receive a single reply to any of the letters.

Likewise, we received no response to the letters we wrote to the Chief Secretary on 28 October 2011 and 19 November 2011 and that sent to the Principal Secretary, Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Department on 19 November 2011.

C.This demand is being raised by us to protect the legal rights of the gas victims. All victims of the disaster of 3 December 84 in Bhopal have the legal right to be adequately compensated for the physical and mental injuries caused by the disaster.

Through the Bhopal Act of 1985, the Government of India arrogated to itself sole powers to receive compensation from Union Carbide. In 1985 the Government of India sought $3.3 billion as compensation under the Act. In 1989 the central government, without consulting a single victim entered into a settlement with the American company for $470 million which was approved by the Supreme Court on 14-15 February 1989. Because of the paltry settlement amount, 93% of gas victims received only Rs 25000 as compensation.

The state government also had an important role in the violation of the legal rights of Bhopal gas victims. To justify the low settlement amount, the Claims Directorate of the state government followed a faulty system of injury assessment and pronounced 93% of the gas victims as having suffered only temporary injury.

At the June 2010 meeting of the Group of Ministers on Bhopal (composed of ministers from both the state and central governments) it was accepted that the legal rights to adequate compensation of the Bhopal victims had been violated. The Group of Ministers decided on presenting a curative petition before the Supreme Court to obtain additional compensation from the American companies and this decision was subsequently implemented. Regrettably, in both the curative petitions the figure of death is about four times less than the actual and 93% gas victims have been said to be only temporarily injured. It is worth mentioning that Union Carbide’s own document says that damage caused by MIC gas is permanent, not temporary.

Clearly if corrections are not made in the curative petitions on the basis of scientific figures available with the government, once again Bhopal gas victims will be denied their legal rights. If correct facts are not placed before the court, even if the court is committed to justice, a correct judgment is not possible.

D.Our demand is for protection of the constitutional rights of the gas victims.
In the meeting of the Group of Ministers on June 2010 described above, following the admission that Bhopal gas victims have received inadequate compensation it was decided that families of the deceased and those victims with serious injury would be paid ex gratia amounts as relief.

This decision taken by ministers of the central and state governments was clearly against the fundamental constitutional rights of 93% of the victims (Right to Equality, Right to Life, Right to Justice). In the last 27 years because of the utter failure of the central and state governments in providing medical care and economic, social and environmental rehabilitation, majority gas victims are denied their basic needs and this discrimination against them in payment of ex-gratia amounts is clearly unconstitutional. It is worth mentioning that following from the decision by the Group of Ministers on Bhopal 5,27,000 out of 5,74,000 who had earlier received only Rs 25000 as compensation were denied any ex gratia amount and the state government has not taken any steps regarding this.

E.The protest action for legitimate demand on December 3, 2011 was peaceful.
We had called for peaceful Rail Roko on December 3 2011 in which thousands of gas victims took part at six places between Subash Nagar railway crossing and Nishatpura. In five out of these six places – Nishatpura, Kainchi Chhola, Chhola Naka, Berasia Road Crossing and Bharat Talkies overbridge there was no breach of peace at all. Only at one spot, Barkhedi-Aishbag railway crossing, there was violence that was initiated by District administration and police officials about which we will present facts later. We would like to bring to your attention that to ensure that protest on December 3, 2011 remained peaceful we had explained the method of peaceful protest to the gas victims through a video film that was screened in different communities over a period of one and a half month.

F.Our peaceful protest was pre announced and the administration had sufficient notice.
As has been said above in Para A, we five organisations have given detailed information regarding our demand to the state government since July 2011. In addition, through our rally of July 25 2011, successful Bhopal bandh on 11 October 2011 and several press conferences, we have provided detailed information related to our demand and on protest actions organized by us to secure this demand.

With regard to the rail roko protest organized on December 3, 2011 we had announced it at a press conference on 17 October 2011 and we had conveyed this information in our letters to the state government on 28 October 2011 and 19 November 2011. Had the state government responded to any of our letters in the six months or discussed the matter with us in the month following the announcement of rail roko, possibly there would have been no need for a rail roko. In this regard it is indeed regrettable that the Collector invited us for a discussion on rail roko protest on December 2, 2011 but he refused to take responsibility to organize a meeting for us with the official of the state government who could take a decision on the matter.

G.We had done our best to ensure that rail passengers are troubled as little as possible because of our rail roko. Three weeks prior to rail roko protest we bought Google Ads and through that and through our website publicized the proposed protest action requesting potential passengers to change their journey date or route. Over 2,00,000 people have read our announcement and advice on the internet. Additionally gas victims participating in the rail roko action reached food and water to the passengers on a large scale.

2.The following suggest that District administration and police officials are primarily responsible for the incident of violence at one out of six protest spots on December 3, 2011.

A.Lack of preparation.
As has been mentioned above, because we had made prior announcement and the preparation for the protest action were all in public, the District administration and police officials had more than enough notice for adequate preparation. Despite this there was serious negligence in this respect. Lack of preparedness is a significant reason behind irregularities committed by the officials at the place of incident and this has been taken in cognizance by the State Human Rights Commission that has sought answers from concerned officials.

B.Lack of Patience
After the rail roko protest action began on December 3, 2011, the Collector asked one of our colleagues, Mrs. Rashida Bee to come for a meeting with the Chief Minister with 10 persons. Mrs. Rashida Bee sought ten minutes time from him so that she could discuss it with other organisation leaders. However the Collector could not wait for ten minutes and ordered cane charging in 3 to 4 minutes thus, initiating violence.

C.Taking away the PA system
It is worth mentioning that on 3 December 2011 the means to establish communication with the protestors was the PA system which was taken away by the police following orders from the officials just before the cane charge. After police began the violence we leaders were not able to pacify those protestors who had resorted to counter violence as self protection.

D.Cane charge without warning
As been mentioned above in Para A & B because of lack of preparation, required patience and knowledge of established rules, the Collector gave an order of cane charging without any warning. The State Human Rights Commission has asked questions in this regard that remain unanswered till date. The first protestors to be beaten up and left bleeding were the old women who were taking part in peaceful protest. The young men who came forward to save the lives of these old women were also beaten with sticks which was the reason for eruption of violence.

E.Profanities by police officials
Before sticks started raining on the protestors the city Superintendent of Police, Mrs. Monica Shukla publicly abused the women and used humiliating language against the protestors for which there are several eye witnesses.

F.Stone pelting by police
Following the order of cane charging a few people, in order to protect the old women and themselves, threw stones at the police. In response to this, the police resorted to stone pelting in a huge scale about which we have substantial photo and video evidence.

G.Tear gas and firing without warning
Following cane charging and stone pelting by the police, tear gas shells were burst without warning that lead to critical injuries to a 14 year old Daud Ansari causing grievous hurt.

H.Police setting fire to vehicles
Several government and public vehicles were set on fire on 3 December 2011. According to a reliable witness a policemen standing next to her handed over a piece of cloth to man who had covered his face with handkerchief and asked him to set a particular vehicle on fire. We have a photograph of the man with his face covered with a handkerchief.

I.Police entered people’s homes, beat them and caused damage to their property after the incident of violence.
We have reliable witnesses and evidence that show that one hour after peace was restored in the area, 40-50 policemen entered some 20-25 houses in Umrao Dulha Bag near Gol Kabristan and beat up people with sticks and kicked them. The policemen damaged furniture and broke doors and windows and smashed 10-15 vehicles parked outside.

J.The police arrested innocent people in an illegal manner.
Following the incident of violence, 14 persons who were gas victims themselves or children of gas affected parents were arrested by the police. They were beaten badly with sticks in presence of several eye witnesses and many of them were also beaten up at the police station. The arrested persons were not informed about the charges against them and they were not allowed to contact their family members and lawyers. They were stripped to their underwear at the police station and were not provided with any food or protection from cold.

3.District administration and police officials are themselves aware of their role in the incident of violence on December 3 2011.
It is worth mentioning that since the incident of December 3, 2011 the District administration and police official are busy trying to defend themselves and suppress facts. This is the reason why despite repeated questioning by the State Human Rights Commission the Collector and police officials have not responded to a single question. It is worth mentioning that in order to receive answers to these questions the Commission has sent reminders.

The defensive posture assumed by the District administration and police officials is further evident by the fact that despite our personal and public requests the police officials have not presented a single photographic or video evidence to support the allegation that any of the named accused (leaders of our organisations) were either involved with violence or with instigating violence.

4.Action under severe sections are being undertaken to cover up the irregularities and misdeeds of the police.

Legal action is ongoing against 14 persons under 17 criminal sections including Section 307 (murderous assault) and because of the following reasons it is prima facie evident that the accused were not part of the violence.

A.6 of the 14 people who are in jail for last one and a half month have got documentary evidence to establish that they were away from the scene of violence and at their workplace during the incident of violence. 1 among the 6, Pooran Vishwakarma lost his father while he was in jail and he was let out on parole for just three hours four days after his father’s death.

B.Two other persons have got documentary evidence to show that they were busy in preparations for their sister’s wedding that same evening. Both of them were arrested at a petrol pump 1km away from the place of incident with their motorcycle.

C.None of the 14 persons arrested have any previous criminal charge against them.

5.17 grave criminal sections against 2000 gas victims including 35 named accused are without any basis.

Because of the following reasons, the criminal cases against the gas victims are prima facie baseless, faulty and ill motivated.

A.The named accused include gas affected women who are sick and above 80 years of age and incapable of committing crimes described in the FIR (stone pelting, use of sticks, use of firearms and country made guns, setting fire to vehicles, using sharp edged weapons and causing destruction to public property).

B.The named accused include 17 yr old Safreen who is a child of gas affected parents and is herself sick from being exposed to contaminated ground water and is unable to commit the crimes described above.

C.The named accused include 8 women, many of whom are above 60 years age, who had been arrested and sent to jail prior to the incident of violence.

D.The named accused includes persons who were not at the scene of violence before, during or after the incident. There is video evidence with the police that establishes that one of these persons was 4 kms away from the scene of violence.

E.The First Information Report (FIR) lists weapons (sticks, sharp edged weapons, country made guns, firearems) which are not seen in any of the photos or videos while the police claims that the entire incident has been videographed.

With regard to the facts and arguments presented in Para 1-4 above, we would like to clarify that we have substantial evidence and documents to substantiate each and every fact and argument presented. We have attempted to make this letter as brief as possible keeping in mind your busy schedule. However a few important documents related to the criminal cases against gas victims are being appended.

Finally on behalf of the victims of the world’s worst industrial disaster we request you to set up an independent and impartial inquiry on the incident of violence on 3 December 2011 described above as per your promise.

We hope that till such an inquiry is initiated you will give rational and just direction for withdrawal of criminal cases against the arrested persons and 2000 gas victims.

Awaiting your reply, we remain
Thanking You

Sincerely

Rashida Bi, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
94256 88215

Nawab Khan, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
9302792493

Balkrishna Namdeo, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha

Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra, Bhopal Group for Information and Action
9826167369

Safreen Khan, Children Against Dow Carbide

Enclosures: 1. First Information Report of 6 cases
2. Information on arrested persons

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Ram Vilas Paswan to make statement on Bhopal on July 30 at Jantar Mantar

WHAT: Sri. Ram Vilas Paswan,Member Rajya Sabha to make a Statement on Bhopal.
WHEN: 3.00 p.m. 30th July, 2010

WHERE: Jantar Mantar

WHO: Sri. Ram Vilas Paswan- Member, Rajya Sabha, Former Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers

Background:
The June 7 verdict by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal triggered a renewed interest in the plight of the Bhopal survivors. Buckling under the public outrage generated by the media coverage of the disaster, the Prime Minister set up a Group of Ministers. The recommendations of the GoM fall way short of addressing the real issues facing survivors, and sidesteps commitments made by the Prime Minister in 2008 on key issues. To remind the Government that it cannot go back to sleep on the pending issues in Bhopal, Bhopal survivors plan to remain in Delhi through the Parliament Session and thereon until their demands are met. Sri Ram Vilas Paswan, former Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers also a former Member of GoM Bhopal to visit dharna sthal and address the survivors.

Contact: Shalini Sharma — 9958924989; Rachna: 9582314869

READ DAILY DHARNA REPORTS ON ACTIONS.BHOPAL.NET

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Government aims to quell public anger rather than help Bhopalis

BHOPAL.NET OPINION. On the face of it, the Group of Ministers’ recommendations seem attractive. 700 crores in “enhanced compensation”, site to be cleaned, Anderson pursued – it sounds good, until you examine the details. Then it becomes clear that these proposals, while seeking to salve the public’s sorely wounded pride, actually do little or nothing for the Bhopalis. Survivors are calling it “another betrayal”.

Confidential Minutes from the Meeting of the Group of Ministers on Bhopal

1. “ENHANCED COMPENSATION”: 93% OF VICTIMS WILL GET NOTHING”

Lachho Bai
Nothing for Laccho Bai, constantly ill since inhaling Union Carbide’s gases, who has lost her reason and her sight.

There are 572,000 officially registered victims of Union Carbide’s gases.
The 700 crore rupees of compensation will be shared among 45,166 people who have lost relatives or suffered certains sorts of injury. (1) More than 525,000 victims are excluded. [pullquote]93% of Union Carbide’s officially registered victims will get nothing but a notional Rs 2/- per head from the insulting June 7 judgement. [/pullquote] Of these many are seriously ill with conditions not covered by the government’s method of claims assessment. See here.

Recipients of the government’s apparent largesse will be chosen on the basis of the flawed system of claims analysis that proved to be inaccurate, unjust, slapdash, bedevilled by bureaucracy, slow, open to abuse, and often corrupt. See this 1991 report by the Bhopal Group for Information and Action. Also On the Question of Whether a Fresh Survey of Bhopal Victims is Required. And Survey of Compensation among residents of Jaiprakash Nagar. Oct 2002.

2. THE EXTRADITION OF WARREN ANDERSON IS A RED HERRING TO PROTECT DOW

Warren Anderson is 91 years old. It is a foregone conclusion that the US administration will refuse an extradition request, so there is no risk in making this promise.

The government could and should be pursuing Union Carbide Corporation and Union Carbide Eastern, accused alongside Warren Anderson, and like him absconding from justice since 1992. But there is no mention of them. The reason is undoubtedly to protect Dow Chemical. [pullquote] UCC still exists as a legal entity wholly owned by Dow, which is not only allowed to do business openly in India but, as recent media reports have shown, to direct government policy making.[/pullquote]

While the extent of Anderson’s direct involvement has been questioned by the US administration, there can be no doubt about the roles of UCC and UCE in directly causing the gas catastrophe.

The ICJB does not oppose attempting to extradite Anderson, but it demands that UCC and UCE should also be pursued on the charge of “culpable homicide”. If found guilty, they would at least be compelled to pay more than two rupees per victim.

3. DOW CHEMICAL LIABILITY FOR CLEAN UP TO BE DETERMINED BY COURT.

Dow claims it had nothing to do with UCIL. But UCIL was majority-owned by Union Carbide Corporation which thus shares the major part of the responsibility for the contamination and failure to clean up. When Dow acquired Union Carbide’s assets, it also acquired its “polluter pays” liabilities.

[pullquote right]If UCC is liable, Dow is liable. This is the opinion of India’s Ministry of Law. But Dow is strongly protected by its lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who also happens to be Congress Spokesman and part of the Manmohan Singh inner circle. He sees no conflict of interest. Do you?[/pullquote]

Dow has admitted routinely bribing Indian officials to get a banned pesticide certified as safe, yet no action is taken against it. Dow used bribery to gain certification for its pesticide Dursban which is so dangerous to children that it is banned for home use in the US. In India it is sold as safe. The government has not taken any steps either to punish the company for bribing officials, or to take Dursban off the home market.

In the 1990s Dow paid more than $10 million to the family of an infant, Joshua Herb, who had been damaged by Dursban. What will damaged Indian children get?

4. THE CLEAN UP TO BE BASED ON NEERI’S RECOMMENDATIONS. NEERI SAYS THERE IS NO GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION OUTSIDE THE FACTORY SITE

deadgoat-600.jpg
No words are needed to disprove the claim that water contamination is confined to the factory site. This poisoned goat, floating in a ‘solar evaporation pond’ near the Garib Nagar basti half a kilometer outside the factory, says it all.

NEEERI’s statement is at odds with numerous reports from Greenpeace and other organisations, including two published last December. [pullquote]While relying on discredited, incompetent NEERI the UPA-II government is ignoring an offer from the EU Parliament to fund a thorough and impartial study of the nature and extent of contamination to the highest scientific standards.[/pullquote]NEERI (National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur) is a discredited organisation whose slipshod methods and careless conclusions during a 1990s survey of the contamination were severely criticised by US consultancy Arthur D Little which had ironically been retained by Union Carbide Corporation in Danbury to advise Union Carbide India Limited.

For details please see The farce that was and is NEERI.

Carbide executives privately ridiculed NEERI’s work while recognising that it was the pet of the MPPCB (Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board) which was opposed to the involvement of ADL. [pullquote right]The rate of birth defects in places where the water is contaminated is running at 10 times that of the rest of India.[/pullquote]No surprise then, when in 2001 MPPCB chairman V K Jain was exposed as having amassed money and jewellery worth 15 crores of rupees by corrupt methods. The entire MPPCB board was dissolved.

The human impact of the poisoned water can be seen just by walking through the affected areas. NEERI: Briefing notes for journalists.

5. NEERI RECOMMEND BURYING TOXIC WASTE INSIDE THE FACTORY

The proposal to bury the waste on the site itself under NEERI’s direction is the final folly. It will not be done to a proper standard and the groundwater pollution will be exacerbated instead of contained. [pullquote]Says US attorney Raj Sharma, “NEERI was responsible for the creation of the leaking landfill in the solar evaporation ponds. They rubber stamped everything that UCC proposed. This plan will be a disaster in its own right if effectuated.[/pullquote]

THE GoM HAS IGNORED THE SURVIVORS’ DEMAND FOR AN EMPOWERED COMMISSION. MONEY TO BE GIVEN TO STATE GOVERNMENT

The Group of Ministers is thus reneging on a promise its immediate predecessor made to the survivors two years ago. The GoM minutes reveal no mention of a reliable mechanism to deliver social, economic, medical rehabilitation for gas survivors and their children. Nor does it make any proposals for the relief of those whose lives have been blighted by the poisoned water. The families of the children born damaged will get no compensation, no help of any kind.

While ignoring the promise made earlier to the survivors the confidential minutes of the GoM meeting reveal that it proposes to hand a huge wad of cash, some 700 crores of rupees to the MP state government. Cynics will note that years after hundreds of crores were poured by the Centre into State coffers for the creation of jobs for gas survivors, not a single job has been created, not a single person has been employed.

No doubt tailors in Bhopal and elsewhere are busily deepening and strengthening pockets.

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Government’s strings are pulled by its corporate masters

Press Statement

Calling the Group of Minister’s offer of compensation a smokescreen, all seven organizations for survivors’ rights have strongly condemned the recommendations of the Group of Ministers on Bhopal. The Group of Ministers pretends to offer relief and rehabilitation but the details reveal that issues of compensation, rehabilitation and corporate liability are totally ignored. The organizations said that the recommendations demonstrate more concern for the welfare of American corporations than for Bhopal survivors.

The organizations said that the compensation recommended by the Group of Ministers will go to less than 10% of people known to be exposed to Union Carbide’s toxic gases. “The GoM has based its decision on the notoriously flawed system of damage assessment that was designed to downplay and diminish the death and injury caused by Union Carbide Corporation. It has made no recommendations regarding review of death claims or registration of exposure related death claims after 1997, when such registration was arbitrarily stopped. “The GoM has denied any additional compensation to 521,000 [91%] survivors who received a paltry sum of Rs. 25, 000 for life long injuries,” said Abdul Jabbar, convenor of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan.

The Group of Ministers has gone back on its June 2008 decision to concede Bhopalis long-standing demand to set up an Empowered Commission on Bhopal to oversee rehabilitation. Instead, it proposes to transfer Rs. 720 crores to the Madhya Pradesh Government for medical, economic, social, and environmental rehabilitation. “More than Rs. 530 crores have already been spent by the M.P. Government in the name of relief and rehabilitation, and there is nothing to show for this. The Rs. 720 crores will go the same way – into the pockets of the Ministers and bureaucrats” said Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action. “The Madhya Pradesh Government’s list of equipment to buy includes fictitious equipment such as ‘automatic micro-organism detection instruments’ and ‘identification & sensitivity of micro organism” that cost more than 35 lakhs,” Dhingra added. “The Group of Ministers could just as well put the money straight into these bureaucrats’ pockets and save on overhead costs.”

The organizations also expressed dismay that the GoM has failed to recommend action for extraditing the authorized representatives of Union Carbide Corporation, USA and Union Carbide Eastern, Incorporated that is now reincarnated as Union Carbide Asia Pacific Inc. and Union Carbide Asia Ltd. “As 100% percent owner of Union Carbide, USA, Dow Chemical is guilty of sheltering a fugitive from justice punishable by 3 years imprisonment under Sec 212 of the Indian Penal Code and the Group of Ministers has made no directions regarding the summons against Dow Chemical issued by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal District Court, on January 6, 2005,” said Balkrishna Namdeo, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Sangharsh Morcha.

The Group of Ministers has also failed to recommend any action to make Dow Chemical pay for the clean up of the thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste and extensive damage to human health caused by contamination of ground water. “The Group of Ministers and in particular certain members of it who are known to be Dow Chemical’s agents have made appropriate noises but their money is not where their mouth is,” said Safreen Khan of Children Against Dow Carbide. It has decided to spend Rs. 300 crores of public money towards removal of toxic waste — something which is the legal responsibility of Dow Chemical.” Survivors’ organizations pointed out that Dow Chemical, through its lawyer Abhishek M. Singhvi, has refused to accept jurisdiction of the Madhya Pradesh High Court for the last six years. Despite this, the Group of Ministers has not made a single recommendation towards making Dow Chemical answerable to Indian courts, even as the company continues to do business in India. “This clearly displays an intention by the government to let Dow Chemical off the hook and is just as criminal as the act as helping Anderson escape justice. It is in fact a greater crime because Dow Chemical’s ongoing environmental disaster continues to maim and kill people, including the unborn, as we speak today,” said Rashida Bi, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.

The organizations said that the recommendations of the Group of Ministers are designed to please the US-India CEO Forum, that is meeting today in Washington, DC. Survivors’ organizations point out that the Group of Minister’s recommendation of spending money from the public exchequer to address the lingering issue of toxic contamination follows from one of the founding principles of the US-India CEO Forum that prescribes a “specific focus on resolving legacy issues such as those impacting Dow / Bhopal tragedy of 1984 … to send a strong positive signal to US investors.” (http://planningcommission.nic.in/reports/genrep/USIndia.pdf)

The organizations said that the GoM’s recommendations demonstrate the failure of the media attention and public awareness to change the UPA government’s priorities of FDI over the survival of ordinary people in this country. They said that hundreds of survivors will be traveling to New Delhi tomorrow to place their concerns before the Cabinet Committee that is expected to issue directives based on the recommendations of the GoM in its meeting on June 25, 2010.

Safreen Khan
Children Against Dow-Carbide
Mob. 9826994797

Balkrishna Namdeo
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Mob. 9826345423

Abdul Jabbar
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan
Mob. 9406511720

Syed M Irfan
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purusg Sangharsh Morcha
Mob. 9329026319

Rashida Bee, Champa Devi Shukla
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Mob. 9425688215

ND Jayaprakash
Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti
Mob. 09968014630

Rachna Dhingra, Satinath Sarangi
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Mob. 9826167369

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