By Pervez Bari
BHOPAL – Five Bhopal-based organizations working for the welfare of 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims and survivors have thanked the 12 US Congressmen for voicing concern and calling for the US DOJ (Department of Justice) to act as per law and stop their country’s image being sullied as a safe haven for criminal corporations.
“It is indeed heartening to find some of the most powerful voices in the US Congress calling for the US DOJ to act as per law. This is an unprecedented action,” said Goldman Environmental award winner and president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Rashida Bee.
Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information & Action said: “There is a lesson in this action by the US lawmakers, for our government’s departments that are helping the US corporations to remain unpunished. Hopefully it will be emulated by the leading voices of the current Opposition parties in our country.”
“The year 2024 is also the 40th Anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal where justice continues to be denied” said Balkrishna Namdeo, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha.
While Nawab Khan of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, said: “We make a special appeal to I.N.D.I.A to include the provision of justice and a life of dignity to Bhopal survivors and their children and those poisoned through groundwater in their agenda for Changing Bharat.”
“With this action by the US lawmakers we now look forward to having Dow Chemical’s Amy Wilson answering charges of sheltering fugitive killer Union Carbide in the Bhopal District Court”, said Nousheen Khan of Children Against Dow/Carbide.
It may be recalled here that on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984 Union Carbide pesticide manufacturing factory in Bhopal had spewed nearly 40 tonnes of poisonous Methyl Iso-cyanate gas exposing over 5,00,000 people to the toxic fumes. While 3,000 people had perished virtually instantly and over the years more than 25,000 have kissed death and the sad saga is still continuing uninterruptedly. About half a million people are still suffering from the side effects of the poisonous gas and several thousand people have been maimed for life.