Ummid Assistant

IDB scholarship forms available at Bhopal's Companion School

IGNOU's preparatory course for students desiring higher education

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home National

Why was Anderson released? Arjun Singh's book tells all

Tuesday July 03, 2012 09:06:27 PM, IANS

Related Articles

Union Carbide not liable in Bhopal case, says US court

This was one of at least two pending cases involving the facility known for the world's worst 1984 gas disaster that killed an estimated  

Judiciary reduced Bhopal disaster into truck accident: Moily

Bhopal will remember its dead and dying - and how

New Delhi: A top bureaucrat in New Delhi and not then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi had lobbied for bailing out Union Carbide chairman Warren Anderson after his arrest for the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, Arjun Singh, then the Madhya Pradesh chief minister, says in his posthumously-published autobiography.

"I would like to make it clear that at no point did Rajiv talk to me about this matter or intercede on Anderson's behalf. I came to know later that the then union home secretary R.D. Pradhan, upon instructions of the union home minister had telephoned (state chief secretary) Brahma Swaroop to ensure Anderson's release," Singh says in "A Grain of Sand in the Hourglass of Time" (HayHouse), co-authored with Ashok Chopra.

Pradhan had also instructed that Anderson be sent back to New Delhi in a state government plane. Anderson had visited Bhopal Dec 7, four days after disastrous gas leak from the Union Carbide plant on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, to ostensibly to assess the extent of the damage. More than 3,000 people died instantly in the tragedy and many thousands more in subsequent years.

Singh says he told Brahma Swaroop to ensure Anderson's arrest was recorded before he was sent back to Delhi from Bhopal.

Early in the afternoon, Anderson was granted bail by the Bhopal district magistrate, Singh, who also served as the union human resource development minister, says in his book.

"The deputy inspector-general of Bhopal, who was supposed to escort Anderson to the airport after instructions for his release was given, was not in town. Consequently, this task had to be done by (Bhopal superintendent of police) Swaraj Puri very discreetly.

"The media immediately did not get to know that Anderson had flown out of Bhopal at 1 p.m and then to the US. It was only around 6 p.m. that the BBC reported the news, which soon created a political storm," Singh recounts in the book, the draft of which was completed just before he died on March 4, 2011.

"There was a huge hue and cry demanding to know why Anderson had been let off so lightly: Anderson had flown out of India never to return."

The tragedy, the world's worst industrial disaster, haunts even after 28 years with its staggering toll that continues to fester with new ramifications, some of them permanent.

According to Singh, in the final analysis, the Madhya Pradesh government had placed the immediate deaths from the gas leak at 3,000, while 8,000 have died since from gas-related diseases.

A 2006 state government affidavit placed the number of injured at 558,125, the book says.

"Many legal cases are pending in various courts, including the arrest of Warren Anderson who is in his early 90s, to India."

"Even today, the after-effects are being felt. Some of the next-generation members have inherited various diseases (like cancer, asthma, bronchitis and skin problems), besides suffering from physical deformities. Also the ground water in parts of Bhopal remains contaminated with toxic chemicals."

In 2010, a discussion on the aftermath of the tragedy triggered heated exchanges between the BJP and Congress in the Madhya Pradesh assembly, Singh writes.

"Insinuations were made by BJP members (including by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan) that Rajiv Gandhi and I had let Anderson off the hook easily. They accused Rajiv and me of succumbing to external pressures. I have already mentioned how Anderson was released."





Home | Top of the Page


Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of

Comments powered by DISQUS



More Headlines

New president in Egypt: Implications for political Islam

Dubai's grand gurdwara brings religion, tradition alive in style

DNA sections linked to osteoarthritis found

Row hits heritage plan for Dilip Kumar's Pakistan house

Your farts could cure high blood pressure

Pressmart launches tablet-based education solution

Queen's cruise liner to stay in Dubai as floating hotel

Delhi opens e-stamp property registration office

Mother triumphs in exams - 28 hours after delivery

Patnaik accuses Pranab of buying support

Controversy over dress circular to Kerala teachers

Grenades found in Ajmer sewer line

Talk, settle dispute: Court to Air India, striking pilots





Top Stories

Mukherjee's nomination for presidential poll accepted

The nomination of United Progressive Alliance candidate Pranab Mukherjee for the presidential poll was accepted Tuesday and the plea by his opponent P.A Sangma  

Cancel Pranab's candidature, says Sangma; Cong dismisses allegation

Patnaik accuses Pranab of buying support


  Most Read

Once there was Hindutva Terror...?

It is difficult to believe the manner in which the mass murderer called Brahmeshwar Singh was glorified and the state turning mute spectator to indiscriminate violence unleashed by his supporters (mainly  

Darkness in US amid unrelenting heat

Three days after a ferocious summer storm, about 1.7 million people, from the capital city of Washington through 10 states from Indiana to Delaware, are still without electricity even as they battle unrelenting heat. Making up more than half of those knocked 

Millions of Americans battle blistering heat without power


  News Pick

PM announces Rs.500 crore for flood-hit Assam

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday announced an aid package of Rs.500 crore for Assam, which has been severely hit by floods, causing an estimated 

Northeast floods render 75,000 homeless, relief stepped up

Muslims, Christians slam German court ruling on circumcision

A key German Muslim association and top Christian clerics on June 27 sharply criticised a German Court ruling that said circumcising boys on religious grounds amounted to grievous bodily harm. 

Still 'chasing the monsoon' to lift India's fortune

No other weather phenomenon, perhaps, captures the attention of Indians as does monsoon, a shortfall of which can not just send the economy reeling, and people sweating, but also alter the fortunes of governments 

Spain wins Euro 2012 final, smashing Italy 4-0

Spain won the Euro 2012 championship here Sunday, trouncing a valiant, but outmatched, Italy 4-0. The victory makes Spain the first team in history to win three major 


Picture of the Day

The Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) students with the world's largest envelope they put on display on May 02, 2012. The envelope earned the premium Institution a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. AMU received a certificate in this regard on June 28, 2012.



RSS  |  Contact us


| Quick links



Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant



Science & Technology



About us




Government Schemes










Contact us




    Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.