Bhopal gas probe panel invites information

August 18th, 2011 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhopal, Aug 18 (IANS) Over a year after the Madhya Pradesh government constituted a commission to probe the 1984 gas tragedy here, the panel has invited information from people on the incident, said officials Thursday.

The one-man Poisonous Gas Leak Investigation Commission headed by Justice S.L. Kochar has invited documents or statements from people about the accused and events related to the gas leak from Union Carbide’s unit.

The disaster, in which poisonous methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from the plant on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, killed 3,000 people instantly and 25,000 over the years. It also affected 100,000 people and estimates are that more than 500,000 continue to suffer from ill-effects of the gas.

Commission Secretary Shashimohan Shrivastava said that people, institutions or organisations could submit their written statement, proof, documents or affidavits.

United Carbide India Ltd. chairman Keshub Mahindra and six others were convicted by a Bhopal court last year under the penal provisions of causing death due to negligence.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had announced the setting up the commission soon after the trial court’s verdict in June 2010.

The panel was constituted to probe the causes of the tragedy and the role of the then state government and other people vis-a-vis the accused.

The commission would investigate whether rules and directives prevailing then were ensured for the establishment of Union Carbide?

It would also examine whether before the incident of 1984, Union Carbide had made adequate safety arrangements for saving its workers from possible accidents.

Whether Union Carbide had taken adequate safety measures for disposing off the chemical waste after the tragedy would also be looked into by the panel.

The commission would also examine what role was played by the then state government and others in former chairman and chief executive officer of Union Carbide Warren Anderson’s arrest, release and the offer of safe passage to him which allegedly helped him abscond.

Suggestions for helping the gas-affected people would also be made by the commission.

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