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Bhopal Gas Tragedy:

NGOs to nail MP Govt. lies with ‘Jhoot Bole Kaua Kaate’ campaign

Monday, November 30, 2009 10:19:50 PM, Pervez Bari

Satinath Sarangi and Syed M Irfan main campaigners for justice in Bhopal at a press conference in Bhopal today on 26th November 2006

(Photo: Martina Salvi)

Bhopal Gas Tragedy victims condemn Indian Govt. for colluding with US MNCs to deny justice: Three NGOs working for the welfare of survivors of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, world's worst industrial disaster, have condemned the Indian government’s collusion with the two American multinationals as the chief.... Read Full

Bhopal: Three Non Government Organizations, (NGOs),  working for the welfare of survivors of Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the world's worst industrial disaster, have decided to launch “Jhoot Bole Kaua Kaate” (crow bites liars) campaign to nail the Bharatiya Janata Party ruled Madhya Pradesh Government’s lies telling the world that all is well in Bhopal on gas tragedy front while trying to sweep under the carpet the sufferings of the ailing gas victims.


This was announced here on Thursday by the leaders of the three survivors’ organizations viz. Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha and Bhopal Group for Information & Action while talking to newspersons here on the occasion of the upcoming 25th Anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal.


It may be mentioned here that the Madhya Pradesh Government is trying to disprove that the huge waste lying in the defunct Union Carbide factory here, from tones of poisonous Methyl Isocyanate, (MIC), spewed in December 1984 killing thousands of people, was not toxic and hazardous. It is asserting that the waste was not toxic and that it was not responsible for polluting the groundwater in and around the areas.


Bhopal Group for Information & Action convener Satinath Sarangi said as part of this unique protest they will be organizing a “Benign Buffet” on November 28, five days before the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in which thousands of people were killed and maimed, at which the members of the Madhya Pradesh cabinet and the bureaucracy would be invited to eat such “delicacies” as Semi-Processed Pesticide on Watercress, Naphthol Tar Fondue, Reactor Residue Quiche, Sevin Tar Souffle, and Lime Sludge Mousse. An invitation card for the “Benign Buffet” has been printed which will be sent to them.


Sarangi informed that the Director of Defense Research Development Establishment, Gwalior, Dr. R. Vijayraghavan and Director of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur, Dr. Tapan Chakrabarti, who have certified Union Carbide’s chemical wastes to be orally ingestible, are also being invited. He said they have often said the toxic wastes lying at the Union Carbide’s closed facility are not toxic. Vijayaraghavan has went further to say that for a 70 kg man, there will not be any death even if he takes 200 gm by oral route. For Sevin tar, there will not be any death even if he takes 100 gm by oral route. This toxicity rate is lesser than ethyl alcohol, table salt (sodium chloride) and many of the commonly used drugs. So, we are organising a feast for them so that they can consume it and ensure us a cleaner Bhopal, Sarangi added.


He said that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and State Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Babulal Gaur were favouring Dow Chemicals, which now owns the Union Carbide, claiming that waste lying in the factory was not toxic.


He pointed out that the six reports of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee have indicted the state government for its failure in providing medical relief and its pathetic record of providing economic rehabilitation is evident by the fact that less than 100 survivors have been offered gainful employment.


While the Ministry of Bhopal Gas Tragedy has asked for Rs. 980 crores (US $213 million) from the Union Government for rehabilitation of the Bhopal survivors, the Relief Minister Gaur along with the state Chief Minister are busy pronouncing the disappearance of exposure related health problems and contaminants in soil and ground water, Sarangi alleged.


He said the three NGOs will intensify protests against Dow Chemicals from December three to press for the removal of waste from the factory and seek financial and medical help to the Gas Tragedy victims who are still suffering.


Meanwhile, presenting a copy of a letter from the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister to the Prime Minister of India, the leaders of the organizations said that the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister was the main obstruction in the setting up of the badly needed Empowered Commission.


It may be recalled here that the Union Government on August 8 last year had announced that an Empowered Commission will be set up to look into all aspects of rehabilitation of the victims and cleaning-up of hazardous waste lying in the area.


The then Union Minister for Chemical and Fertilizers Ram Vilas Paswan had made the announcement at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, where the survivors had been protesting for the last 130 days.


The CBI will expedite investigation into allegations that US-based Dow Chemicals, which has purchased the Union Carbide, bribed Agricultural Ministry officials for the registration of four pesticides manufactured by it, the minister had then said.


On the disposal of waste, Paswan had said the Government will not accept a proposal by the Tatas to take up the operation as it comes with a condition that the court case against Dow Chemicals, seeking to make it pay the clean-up cost, would have to be withdrawn.





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