MPs urged to seek Dow’s removal as London Olympics sponsor

December 5th, 2011 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Bhopal, Dec 5 (IANS) The Indian government and leaders must press for dropping Dow Chemicals, which now owns the company responsible for the Bhopal Gas disaster, from the list of sponsors of the 2012 Olympics in London, former hockey Olympian and ex-MP Aslam Sher Khan said Monday.

“It is surprising that Indian leaders have not raised the issue so far, while in Britain the issue has been raised by 24 MPs. A British parliamentarian even met me and asked why there is no concern so far in India,” Aslam Sher Khan said. He added he will write to members of parliament to raise the issue in the ongoing parliament session.

“And if all this cannot force the London Olympics organising body to remove Dow from sponsoring the Olympics, the 5.5 lakh gas survivors will come on roads to protest. If needed, we will sit on a fast to press government to register a protest,” Khan said, addressing a press conference here.

He said he has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the union sports ministry and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on the issue.

Dow Chemicals now owns Union Carbide, the company which caused the instant death of over 15,000 people and effected more than 500,000 when poisonous methyl iso-cyanate (MIC) gas leaked oout of its Bhopal plant on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984.

On the 27th anniversary of one of the world’s worst industrial disasters, thousands of gas survivors, demanding the Madhya Pradesh government present correct figure before the Supreme Court in its curative petition and protesting Dow Chemicals’ sponsorship of the London Games, stopped trains crossing Bhopal and clashed with police.

“The Dec 3 incident was unfortunate, but it shows how the wounds of survivors are still afresh, and how governments have been doing politics on the issue. Why is it that only NGOs will raise the issue, why cannot others support the cause and press the government,” asked Khan, a two-time Congress MP.

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