Bhopal survivors demand end to continuing tragedy
Leading a torchlight procession of several hundred survivors, representatives of five organizations of survivors of the December '84 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal on Saturday called for an end to the continuing tragedy before its 30th anniversary.
The leaders of the organizations said that the American corporations and governments of USA, India and the state of Madhya Pradesh must ensure that the disaster does not enter its fourth decade.
The five organizations are Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Children Against Dow Carbide.
"Dow Chemical and Union Carbide must cease to abscond from justice, set aside funds for clean up of the contaminated soil and ground water in Bhopal and pay additional compensation in response to the Indian government's curative petition in the Supreme Court within the next two years," said Nawab Khan, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha..
Balkrishna Namdeo, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha said that in the next two years the US government must ensure that Warren Anderson and authorized representatives of the two American corporations are extradited to answer charges of manslaughter and other serious offences and that they pay penalties comparable to that paid by British Petroleum for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Rashida Bee said that the government of India must ensure that the absconding corporations and their officials are made to appear in court before the 30th anniversary of the disaster and are awarded exemplary punishment.
She said that the central government must see to it that in the next two years the Bhopal Memorial Hospital has all the medical facilities for the ailing survivors and that the National Institute for Research on Environmental Health set up in Bhopal in 2010 carries out essential research work.
Safreen Khan from the "Children Against Dow Carbide" said that the Government of India must complete a comprehensive scientific assessment of the nature, depth and spread of toxic contamination in and around the abandoned Union Carbide factory.
She also demanded that the central government intervene in support of the plaintiffs in the case on environmental contamination in the US Federal Court in New York.
Rachna Dhingra and Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that the Madhya Pradesh government must ensure free and appropriate health care for all survivors of the disaster and those exposed to contaminated ground water within the next two years.
They also demanded economic and social rehabilitation for all victims of Union Carbide's poisons including children with congenital disabilities before the fourth decade of the disaster begins.