Tag Archives: Jantar Mantar

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

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


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Join the Rally for Justice in Bhopal, June 24, Delhi

Don’t let the Government betray Bhopal once again.

If you were desperate to do something for Bhopal, and didn’t know what to do, here’s something you can do.

Join the Rally. Bring your friends and family. Bring your own placard.

WHERE: Mandi House to Jantar Mantar, New Delhi.
WHEN: 24 JUNE, 2010. 11 a.m.
WHY: To Condemn the Latest Betrayal of Bhopal

The official copy of the report of the Group of Ministers on Bhopal has not been released to the media. But the media has been selectively and confusingly reported on certain parts of the recommendations reportedly given to them by inside sources. These reports make it seem as if:
a) The GoM is recommending enhanced compensation for Bhopal victims to the tune of Rs. 1500 crores
b) The GoM is recommending that the Centre will pay for clean-up and recover the money from Dow Chemical.
c) The GoM will recommend the Government to address the issue of liability by pursuing Anderson.
d) The GoM will recommend that Rs. 720 crores be handed over to the State Government to take care of rehabilitation.

A senior bureaucrat who was present at the GoM meeting revealed some startling details:
a) Only 41,000 people, out of 5,72,000 people exposed and injured by the gas leak will receive any compensation. 5,31,000 people, who received paltry sums of Rs. 25,000 from the earlier settlement for life-long ill-health, will receive nothing.
b) The GoM has reportedly committed Rs. 300 crores. This is wholly inadequate for cleanup of more than 10,000 tons of toxic wastes, a contaminated groundwater aquifer. Also, no provision has been made for the medical care and compensation of the 25,000 or more people who have been forced to consume this poisonous groundwater and have developed serious and lifelong illnesses as a result. As for recovery of money from Dow, the Government has indicated it will merely await a verdict from the Court and will do nothing to actively pursue Dow Chemical.
c) While much noise is made about extraditing Anderson, not a word has been mentioned about enforcing the appearance of the other foreign accused — i.e. Union Carbide Corporation USA, and Union Carbide Eastern Hongkong.
d) The Rs. 720 crores given to the State Government will suffer the same fate as the Rs. 530 crores already spent by the MP Government for rehabilitation of Bhopal victims. Till date, not one person has been gainfully employed as a result of MP Government’s economic rehabilitation schemes. Victims are paying through their nose for medical treatment at private clinics because of the horrendous state of the hospitals set up using a big chunk of the Rs. 530 crores. A Supreme Court Monitoring Committee that looked into medical rehabilitation has severely criticised the medical infrastructure and said that the need of the hour is more doctors, better administration and better quality medicines. Instead of investing in these, the Government of Madhya Pradesh has submitted a proposal in which a bulk of the funds will be used for construction of new wings. Several dozen lakhs of rupees will be used to purchase fictitious equipments like “automatic micro-organism [sic] detection instruments” and non-equipment items such as “identification & sensitivity of micro organism [sic]”.

Organised by:
Children Against Dow Carbide
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangarsh Morcha
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sanghatan
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangarsh Morcha
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangarsh Sahyog Samiti
Bhopal Group for Information and Action

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Report from Jantar Mantar

The Bhopalis went back to Jantar Mantar today, after getting two appointments with officials from the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers today. At 11 a.m. several representatives met with the Secretary of the Ministry, who listened to them elaborate on the demands and why it is so crucial to honor them. The meeting was positive.
We staged a press conference at 3:30, right on the street at Jantar Mantar. Photos and details about yesterday’s police attack were supplied to the press.
The chosen representatives of the Bhopalis were then set to meet the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers himself at 5 p.m. We on the outside do not yet know the outcome of that meeting.
Meanwhile the Bhopalis are sitting by the curb at Jantar Mantar beneath banners, signs and photos. Some people have been curious enough to pull over their cars, get out, and speak with the Bhopalis.
The nearby Golda Khana Gurudwara on Bab Kharak Singh Marg has very kindly agreed to make and deliver dinner to them this evening.
Initiation of a hunger strike will depend on the outcome of today’s meetings. More information will follow as soon as possible.
Shweta’s story
When they came for me, they begged me to stand up. I said, “It is not my will to go, if you want me to go, you will have to carry me – I am not thin! It took several policewomen (policemen are not allowed to touch women). They grabbed my arms and legs, and carried me for a bit and then, exhausted, said, “Let’s just leave her behind.” But a policeman came over and said they had to take me. So they had to carry me to the bus, put me in the bus, carry me out of the bus and to the police station. But I could see they were concerned, my legs were splayed apart, my shirt pulled up, one even pulled it down around me.
When we all got to the police station the women were separated
from the men and we gave the policewomen a hard time, chanting “Chai, we want tea, chai, chai”. And women were calling, “Why are you treating us so badly? What would you do if you lost your husband at a young age, with young children to support? What if you carried your baby for nine months and he is born dead? What if you breast fed your child knowing your milk is poisoned? Or if you had to give your kids polluted water to drink. You say you are just doing your duty. Why is it not your duty to protect us? Why is it not your duty to drag the corrupt officials out of their offices and put them in jail?”
I could see that most of the policewomen were touched. Some had tears. There was one particularly tough one and we kept at it, until even she too was moved.
Rachna the radio star
Starting several days before the padyatras arrival in Delhi, Radio Mirchi began covering the marchers’ progress daily. Radio Mirchi is one of the most popular radio stations in Delhi, with 40 lakh (4 million) listeners daily. Rachna was speaking on air everyday from her cell phone.
They originally told us that they wanted to cover the padyatra up until its arrival on the 27th, but once we got here they called to say they wanted to continue indefinitely because their listeners were so charmed by Rachna.
“We got 16 calls right after we hung up with you, yesterday,” they told her. “Our listeners can hardly believe your energy and charm for someone who has just walked 800 kilometers.”

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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"


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.


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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