UPDATE 13:41 BRITISH SUMMER TIME
Ok, everyone still has their phones — they are at the Parliament Street police station, where they are have “not been arrested” (to hell with any legal definition of arrest) because the police, according to Madhu, are too lazy to do the paperwork. So no charges yet. Names and addresses have been taken for 7 or 8 people the police perceive as leaders. The group refused to enter the police station, saying that to do so would mean to thin out and separate, which they were not willing to do. They told the police to come out of the station and talk to them on the lawn, where they were still sitting when I talked to Madhu about 20 minutes ago. Madhu says the police offered to bus everyone to Jantar Mantar, the official protest zone for all activists, where we were yesterday. The group refused, however, saying they didn’t want to go to Jantar Mantar, they want to be taken right back to where they were rudely picked up, in front of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, the people who are responsible for Bhopal. So that’s the standoff right now.
THE BAD NEWS — as we suspected, the people who had to be carried away by the police were not just playing limp to be difficult — they had passed out unconscious from a combination of old age, heat, dehydration, and sheer terror of the police. Right now there are four padyatris in the emergency unit of Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital: Munee Bee, Ashraf Bee, Nafisa Bee, and Bano Bee. The group at the police station received a phone call from the hospital saying that Ashraf Bee was in bad condition. She is the oldest of the four. One of us is going to the hospital in search of them.
Ashraaf Bee, 60, kicked in the chest by police and was taken unconscious to hospital where her condition is reported serious. Read Ashraaf Bee’s story here.
Bano Bee was hit in the chest, fell unconscious and is in hospital. Both women needed chest x-rays.
I am going to stay here and send photos and more info as I receive it. Because the police struck early, not all the press people we wanted were there to cover it, so we need to try to get the photos and info out to them.
Photos coming within minutes.
“Sarvadarshi” in Delhi
Update from hospital received 15:11
I just talked to *****, who is at the hospital. Apparently Nafeesa and Munni Bee are fine and just ended up in the hospital somehow as companions to Ashraaf Bee and Bano Bee, who are not fine, but will be ok. Ashraaf Bee says she was kicked in the chest as she was arrested and fell unconscious immediately thereafter. Bano Bee says she was hit in the chest while being arrested. She, too, fell unconscious. Both of them have been given chest x-rays, results pending. Bano Bee is still feeling faint and generally unwell. We expect them to be released tonight, though. These are elderly women and the fact that the police behaved in a way that allowed them to sustain any blows to the chest is just really unforgivable.
Munné Khan surprised
Wins temporary respite
Is finally arrested
Guddi Bee is arrested
Nity bundled off
Sathyu arguing with cops
Mother and child are arrested
The Bhopalis make a spirited departure and sang in the buses that took them away
PLEASE PROTEST. CALL EVERYONE YOU KNOW, YOU CAN SEND A FAX TO INDIAN PRIME MINISTER MANMOHAN SINGH: DEMAND THE RELEASE OF THE BHOPALIS AND URGE HIM TO MEET THEIR SIX JUST DEMANDS. PLEASE HELP!