Update on the DC action from Rachna

About 10 people from AID gathered in front of the Indian Embassy in DC. We got all set up around noon. In the meantime security officers of the Indian Embassy were doing their job, trying to inquire where were from. We held posters saying “Remember Bhopal” and No more Bhopal. The security guard was pretty nice and said that whenever we wanted to meet with the officials in the embassy to let him know. Around 1:00 pm we meet with Mr A.K. Gupta who is the Minsiter of Community Affairs. I asked him about the Indian Government’s inaction on issuing the letter to New York District. He was not atall aware of this issue or maybe he was confused and he started to talk about Anderson’s extradition progress. [Warren Anderson, ex-Chairman of Union Carbide is wanted, along with the corporation, on criminal charges in India and the Indian government in 2003 applied for his extradition from the US, but there has been no news since. ED] He also told us that he was aware of the move to include Dow Chemical as one of the accused in the ongoing criminal case and that he has gotten communication from Bombay on the issue. I gave him a little background on the current situation and he said that he would definitely convey our message to the Indian Government. We also submitted the list of 1900 petitions that people have signed on and also made him aware of the 2300 petitions that have been signed and 250 people who have joined the hunger strike. Towards the end of the conversation he urged all of us to end our fast and leave the embassy premises since he would be taking this issue with the authorities in India. We decided to stay there for another hour or so and then we ended the protest. Divya came all the way down from John Hopkins University and Somnath came down from Princeton. It was great to see AID’s enthusiasm and passion for Bhopal. We collected around 40 signatures for the petitions.

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