Bhopal gas tragedy: Activists pin hopes on Modi-Obama meet

  • Shahroz Afridi, Hindustan Times, Bhopal
  • Updated: Nov 30, 2014 21:58 IST

Activists fighting on behalf of the survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy have now found a new hope in American President Barack Obama’s visit to India early next year.

They expect the Indian Prime Minister would raise the issue with his American counterpart, when the latter comes on a two-day visit to New Delhi to attend the Republic Day celebrations.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inviting countries for the Centre's 'Make in India' scheme. He has also started the 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan'. Why doesn't he start the campaign with Bhopal toxic waste clean-up?" said Salil Shetty, the secretary general of Amnesty International.

He said the 'Make in India' campaign should come with a greater responsibility. "We have great hopes from Modi-Obama meet. I think Modi would put the issue strongly and get justice for the Bhopal gas tragedy sufferers," said Shetty.

"The US government had scuttled extradition of Anderson twice. We have written to Obama seeking cooperation from the American government," said Satinath Sarangi of Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

He demanded the US government should acknowledge and express regret for "financing the hazardously designed Union Carbide plant in Bhopal through the Exim Bank".

"The US government should also apologise for refusing to extradite Anderson, who died absconding from Indian courts. We have also written to Prime Minister Modi and have appealed to provide additional compensation and arrange for immediate cleaning up of the toxic waste lying in Bhopal," said Sarangi, on behalf of five organisations.

The organisations have demanded that the government should not allow Dow Chemical to make any investment in India until it accepts Union Carbide's liabilities in Bhopal. They also pressed for extradition of Union Carbide secretary John McDonald.

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