Indian Americans protest in support of Bhopal gas survivors

April 8th, 2008 - 12:07 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Washington, April 8 (IANS) A group of Indian Americans under the banner of Association for India’s Development protested outside the Indian Embassy here in support of the survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak. Asking Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to fulfil the promises he made in 2006, the volunteers spelled out the slogan “Walk Your Talk” at the Gandhi statue in front of the embassy here Monday.

Organisers said their protest was in support of the survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster - when poisonous gas leaked out of the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal on the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, killing thousands of people.

Some of the survivors have been demonstrating in New Delhi last weekend demanding to meet the prime minister after an 800-km march from Bhopal that started in February.

The survivors are asking for a Commission on Bhopal to provide adequate healthcare, clean water, and social and economic rehabilitation, as well as justice by pursuing the existing legal cases against Union Carbide and its current owner Dow Chemical.

The protesters shouted slogans like “Prime Minster, meet the Bhopalis”, “Clean water for Bhopal” and “No more Bhopals”.

The volunteers said they are planning to continue with similar actions of support till their demands are met. Similar protests have already taken place in Boston, Massachusetts, and Austin, Texas.

“The undelivered promises to the Bhopal survivors must be one of the cruellest jokes by an Indian prime minister on his people. We will stand by the survivors till their just demands are met,” said Arun Gopalan, a software consultant.

“The prime minister’s broken promises made ailing Bhopal survivors walk 800 kilometres yet again. That the Bhopal survivors are waiting on the streets in Delhi for an appointment with him after this tortuous walk is very worrying,” said Vineeta Gupta, activist of Justice for Bhopal coalition.

“The prime minister should meet the Bhopal survivors immediately and agree to their just demands,” she said.

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