Press Statement 31 October 2014
Five organisations working for the welfare of the survivors of the December ’84 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, today held a condemnation meeting on the news of the death of Warren Anderson, former chairman of the American multinational. Survivors from the worst affected communities who lost their family members to the disaster gathered outside Union Carbide’s abandoned factory to spit on an enlarged photograph of the deceased executive.
The organisations alleged that due to the protection offered by the US government and due to the deliberate negligence of the Indian government in bringing him to justice, the world’s worst corporate criminal died unshackled.
“He faced grave criminal charges of homicide, grievous assault and killing and poisoning of animals and if convicted would have spent a lifetime in jail. Yet this man who killed more than 25 thousand people and poisoned over half a million people never spent a day in jail because the US government protected him to his dying day.” said Rashida Bee , President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh.
Balkrishna Namdeo of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha blamed successive governments at the centre for the negligence towards extraditing Anderson from USA. “The Indian government took 11 years to send its first request for extradition of Anderson and then did nothing when the government of USA rejected that request on specious grounds. A second request still remains pending with the US State and Justice Departments and there has been no attempt by the Indian government to expedite matters in the last three years.” he said.
“There is enough evidence to establish that Anderson was directly involved in decision making and oversight concerning design, operation and maintenance of the Bhopal factory and was fully aware of the hazards the factory posed on the lives and health of the residents of the city. He is also guilty of approving the faulty waste management system used in the Bhopal factory that is responsible for the ongoing contamination of soil and groundwater. Hopefully, Anderson’s life in hiding and his ignominious death would be a lesson for all corporate criminals. ” said Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.
According to Nawab Khan, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha the criminal, civil and environmental liabilities of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical for the ongoing disasters remain unchanged with Anderson’s death. “Dow Chemical has been summoned by the Bhopal District Court to explain by November 12th why it is not making Union Carbide appear in the criminal case. We will pressure the Indian government to now seek extradition of John Macdonald, Union Carbide’s secretary.” he said.
“From our childhood we have been looking at Anderson’s face as the face of evil. Now that man has died. I suppose the face of Andrew Liveris, Dow Chemical’s CEO will now be the new face of evil.” said Safreen Khan of Children Against Dow Carbide.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha
Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra,
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Children Against Dow Carbide