Satinath Sarangi and Syed M Irfan main
campaigners for justice in Bhopal at a press conference in Bhopal
today on 26th November 2006
Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims condemn Indian Govt. for colluding with
US MNCs to deny justice:
Three NGOs working for
the welfare of survivors of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, world's worst
industrial disaster, have condemned the Indian government’s collusion
with the two American multinationals as the chief....
Three Non Government Organizations, (NGOs), working for the welfare
of survivors of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the world's worst industrial
disaster, have decided to launch “Jhoot Bole Kaua Kaate” (crow bites
liars) campaign to nail the Bharatiya Janata Party ruled Madhya
Pradesh Government’s lies telling the world that all is well in
Bhopal on gas tragedy front while trying to sweep under the carpet
the sufferings of the ailing gas victims.
This was announced here on Thursday by
the leaders of the three survivors’ organizations viz. Bhopal Gas
Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila
Purush Sangharsh Morcha and Bhopal Group for Information & Action
while talking to newspersons here on the occasion of the upcoming
25th Anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal.
It may be mentioned here that the
Madhya Pradesh Government is trying to disprove that the huge waste
lying in the defunct Union Carbide factory here, from tones of
poisonous Methyl Isocyanate, (MIC), spewed in December 1984 killing
thousands of people, was not toxic and hazardous. It is asserting
that the waste was not toxic and that it was not responsible for
polluting the groundwater in and around the areas.
Bhopal Group for Information & Action
convener Satinath Sarangi said as part of this unique protest they
will be organizing a “Benign Buffet” on November 28, five days
before the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in which
thousands of people were killed and maimed, at which the members of
the Madhya Pradesh cabinet and the bureaucracy would be invited to
eat such “delicacies” as Semi-Processed Pesticide on Watercress,
Naphthol Tar Fondue, Reactor Residue Quiche, Sevin Tar Souffle, and
Lime Sludge Mousse. An invitation card for the “Benign Buffet” has
been printed which will be sent to them.
Sarangi informed that the Director of
Defense Research Development Establishment, Gwalior, Dr. R.
Vijayraghavan and Director of National Environmental Engineering
Research Institute, Nagpur, Dr. Tapan Chakrabarti, who have
certified Union Carbide’s chemical wastes to be orally ingestible,
are also being invited. He said they have often said the toxic
wastes lying at the Union Carbide’s closed facility are not toxic.
Vijayaraghavan has went further to say that for a 70 kg man, there
will not be any death even if he takes 200 gm by oral route. For
Sevin tar, there will not be any death even if he takes 100 gm by
oral route. This toxicity rate is lesser than ethyl alcohol, table
salt (sodium chloride) and many of the commonly used drugs. So, we
are organising a feast for them so that they can consume it and
ensure us a cleaner Bhopal, Sarangi added.
He said that Madhya Pradesh Chief
Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and State Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief
and Rehabilitation Minister Babulal Gaur were favouring Dow
Chemicals, which now owns the Union Carbide, claiming that waste
lying in the factory was not toxic.
He pointed out that the six reports of
the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee have indicted the state
government for its failure in providing medical relief and its
pathetic record of providing economic rehabilitation is evident by
the fact that less than 100 survivors have been offered gainful
While the Ministry of Bhopal Gas
Tragedy has asked for Rs. 980 crores (US $213 million) from the
Union Government for rehabilitation of the Bhopal survivors, the
Relief Minister Gaur along with the state Chief Minister are busy
pronouncing the disappearance of exposure related health problems
and contaminants in soil and ground water, Sarangi alleged.
He said the three NGOs will intensify
protests against Dow Chemicals from December three to press for the
removal of waste from the factory and seek financial and medical
help to the Gas Tragedy victims who are still suffering.
Meanwhile, presenting a copy of a
letter from the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister to the Prime Minister
of India, the leaders of the organizations said that the Madhya
Pradesh Chief Minister was the main obstruction in the setting up of
the badly needed Empowered Commission.
It may be recalled here that the Union
Government on August 8 last year had announced that an Empowered
Commission will be set up to look into all aspects of rehabilitation
of the victims and cleaning-up of hazardous waste lying in the area.
The then Union Minister for Chemical
and Fertilizers Ram Vilas Paswan had made the announcement at Jantar
Mantar in the national capital, where the survivors had been
protesting for the last 130 days.
The CBI will expedite investigation
into allegations that US-based Dow Chemicals, which has purchased
the Union Carbide, bribed Agricultural Ministry officials for the
registration of four pesticides manufactured by it, the minister had
On the disposal of waste, Paswan had
said the Government will not accept a proposal by the Tatas to take
up the operation as it comes with a condition that the court case
against Dow Chemicals, seeking to make it pay the clean-up cost,
would have to be withdrawn.