Bhopal survivors chain themselves near PM’s residenceMay 21st, 2008 - 5:35 pm ICT by admin
New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) Thirty-seven Bhopal gas disaster survivors, including 22 women, were arrested Wednesday when they chained themselves near Prime Minister Manmohar Singh’s residence here to demand that the government address their grievances. The police said the people chained themselves to the railings opposite the heavily-guarded prime minister’s residence.
“They were not allowed to go near the PM’s house, so they chained themselves. We cut their chains and took them into custody,” Joint Commissioner of Police (New Delhi Range) Ajay Kashyap told IANS.
Under the banner of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangarsh Morcha and Bhopal Group for Information and Action, the protestors sought legal action against Union Carbide and Dow Chemicals and better rehabilitation of the Bhopal victims.
On the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal spewed tonnes of poisonous methyl isocyanate gas, killing some 3,800 people instantly and many more later. Dow Chemicals later bought Union Carbide.
The world’s worst industrial disaster also affected thousands, many of who continue to suffer from various chronic diseases.
Contaminated groundwater around the plant area still infects people with various ailments ranging from skin problems to birth defects, say activists working among the survivors.
Many of the survivors have been staging a protest in New Delhi for nearly two months. They had sought a meeting with the prime minister in January.
Nityanand Jayaraman, an activist, said: “On April 16, a Bhopal boy wrote a letter to the prime minister using blood drawn from the Bhopal victims, seeking an hour of his time.
“The letter was delivered to the prime minister along with handwritten notes from more than 500 children from across the country,” he said.
Since then, 2,800 people from 18 countries have sent fax messages to the prime minister’s office seeking a meeting with Manmohan Singh.
“Twenty-three years is too long. This is a matter of our lives and liberty, and our children’s health. We are not prepared to wait, and will do what it takes to ensure that the Prime Minister realizes that we, and not American corporations, are his priority,” a joint statement from the protesting groups said.
NGOs working among the survivors have demanded a commission to execute social, economic and medical rehabilitation of the victims, environmental clean-up of the area and provision of clean drinking water.
- Bhopal tragedy survivors burn Chidambaram's effigy - Jan 14, 2012
- Cell sought to punish Bhopal disaster guilty - Jun 05, 2010
- Bhopal Gas tragedy: CPI-M demands Dow Chemicals to take liability - Jul 02, 2010
- Bhopal gas tragedy survivors call shutdown Oct 11 - Oct 08, 2011
- Bhopal shuts down for gas tragedy affected - Oct 11, 2011
- Bhopal survivors burn effigy of IOC president - Feb 19, 2012
- Bhopal will remember its dead and dying - and how - Dec 01, 2010
- Bhopal gas tragedy survivor, activist Irfan dies - Feb 18, 2011
- Bhopal gas victims file RTI plea on nuclear liability bill - May 04, 2010
- Update death toll in gas tragedy: Bhopal survivors - Oct 17, 2011
- Bhopal gas survivors hold candlelight vigil, vow to fight on - Jun 09, 2010
- Bhopal gas victims protest to seek Obama's help - Nov 07, 2010
- Bhopal gas survivors welcome Ethics Commissioner's resignation - Jan 26, 2012
- Olympics ethics panel commissioner quits over Dow sponsorship (Lead) - Jan 26, 2012
- Bhopal tragedy survivors want convicts' punishment enhanced - Jun 08, 2010