Bhopal gas tragedy victims gathered at Neelam Park in Bhopal on Sunday in sizeable numbers before leaving for New Delhi to participate in a protest at Jantar Mantar on Monday to highlight their demand for greater compensation from Union Carbide or its successor company Dow Chemical.
Five survivors of the gas leak from US multinational Union Carbide on 2-3 December, 1984 have decided to fast indefinitely without water demanding additional compensation for all the people affected by the industrial disaster.
The five organisations leading the protest are also demanding revision of the figures of death and extent of injuries caused by the disaster in the curative petition filed by the central government in the Supreme Court for additional compensation from Union Carbide and its current owner Dow Chemical.
Balkrishna Namdeo, president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha said, "We decided to take our protest to New Delhi after the betrayal of the chief minister. In December 2011, he had said that each of the affected persons deserved compensation of Rs 5 lakh but he has done nothing to ensure that we get our legal right. He is helping the American corporations by downplaying the damage caused by the disaster in the curative petition filed by the state government."
Leaders of the other four organisations — Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Children Against Dow Carbide and Bhopal Group for Information and Action — also expressed their frustrations with the Madhya Pradesh government.
Safreen, who founded the organisation of children born after the disaster, said, "The Madhya Pradesh chief minister had promised us in writing that he would join our delegation for a meeting with the Prime Minister on the issue of compensation for the gas disaster. Today we don't see him among those who are leaving for New Delhi for exactly that purpose."