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Bhopal survivors urge Modi, Obama to end 'ongoing' Bhopal disaster

India Blooms News Service | | 25 Jan 2015, 12:13 pm
Bhopal, Jan 25 (IBNS): The five organisations working for the rights of the survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster on Sunday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama to end the ongoing disaster in Bhopal in its fourth decade.
On the occasion of Obama's visit to India, the survivors demand that leaders of both countries stop protecting corporate interests over the lives and health of ordinary people and sought reflection and course correction for ending the Bhopal disaster.
In December, survivor organisations had written a letter to President Obama to acknowledge the central role played by the United Sates government in the creation of the disaster in Bhopal and in the denial of justice to the victims.  
Rashida Bee, President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh said, “Warren Anderson, who recently died in Florida was charged with manslaughter, grievous assault and several other offence. Despite attempts from the Indian government to seek his extradition and the US governments denial of extradition sent the message around the world that US corporation are not bound by law or human rights in the countries in which they operate.”
“Dow Chemical has also operated as if they are above the law in our country and continue to deny it has any liability or even connection to Bhopal disaster. Dow Chemical Company has been ignoring summons issued by the Bhopal district court in the ongoing legal case against the corporation," said Balkrishna Namdeo of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha.
Nawab Khan of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said, “Obama made British Petroleum pay 20 billion dollars for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. We would like to ask him how his conscience allows him to support two US corporations that paid a tiny fraction of that amount for two thousand times more fatalities. Additionally 50 thousand living in the vicinity of the now abandoned pesticide factory have had their ground water contaminated with toxic chemicals and heavy metals that have leached from recklessly buried hazardous waste. The contamination continues to spread and find new victims every day and US corporations continue to deny its liability.”
Prime Minister Modi has shown great enthusiasm in welcoming US corporations to invest in India and we hope that Indian government will be as enthusiastic in making US corporations obey India laws, as Bhopal was the original “make in India: in the profoundest sense of the phrase, said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information & Action, the activists said in a statement.