Bhopal tragedy survivors burn Chidambaram’s effigy

January 14th, 2012 - 5:53 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Bhopal, Jan 14 (IANS) The survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy Saturday burnt an effigy of Home Minister P. Chidambaram to protest the decision of a ministerial panel not to revise in the curative petition pending before the Supreme Court the figures of dead and injured in the disaster.

The leaders of survivors’ organisations alleged that Chidambaram has a history of being devoted to Union Carbide’s owner Dow Chemical and called for his removal from the post of chairman of the Group of Ministers (GoM) for Bhopal.

“The GoM’s decision not to present correct numbers of the people Union Carbide has killed and injured in Bhopal is a decision unilaterally imposed by Chidambaram on the entire group. This decision is against data from scientific studies by the government’s own Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)” said Rashida Bee, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh.

The survivors were expecting that the government will add to the figure in the ongoing curative petition in the Supreme Court, but the GOM’s refusal has angered them.

Presenting a copy of a letter written by Chidambaram to the prime minister’s office (PMO) in 2006, Nawab Khan of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha alleged: “Chidambaram had written to the prime minister to let Dow Chemical walk away from its liabilities in Bhopal. His latest attempt to downplay the damage caused by the American company shows how devoted he continues to be to the Dow Chemical company.”

“Chidambaram was the lawyer for Enron, the most corrupt American corporation and a board member of Vedanta, the British company responsible for ecological and human devastation. He should not have been included in the GoM on Bhopal, let alone be its chairman,” said Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

On the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, tonnes of methyl isocyanate gas leaked from the Union Carbide’s pesticides plant in Bhopal killing several thousand people. ICMR had estimated that by 1997 over 15,000 people had succumbed in the tragedy but in court, the government only spoke of 5,295 deaths.

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