Leaders of the five NGOs working for the gas tragedy-affected people on Friday condemned the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s response to Dow Chemical, which has repeatedly been ignoring notices of the Bhopal District Court.
In a joint press conference, they charged that instead of making Dow Chemical obey Indian laws, the PM chose to offer a lavish dinner to its CEO Andrew Liveris this September.
Satinath Sarangi of the NGO, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, pointed out that the notices against Dow Chemical had been issued by the Bhopal district court due to the interventions by his organisation, and not by the prosecuting agency, the CBI.
“On Saturday, on the notice of the Bhopal district court, Dow Chemicals has to appear. A notice has been sent to them for the third time. Tomorrow, we will see whether the CBI helplessly watches Dow Chemical ignore the court’s order a third time or whether it summons the courage to take effective legal action against the criminal corporation,” he said.
“From newspaper reports we learnt that Modi ji offered Liveris thandai chicken and sevaiyan cake, among other delicacies, just nine days after the Bhopal CJM issued a notice against his company for sheltering the fugitive killer Union Carbide,” said Rashida Bee of the NGO, Bhopal Gas Peedit Manila Stationery Karmchari Sangh. She added that Union Carbide had been absconding from charges of culpable homicide and other serious offences related to the gas disaster that killed 25,000 people and injured half a million, for the past 23 years.
Balkrishna Namdeo of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha said that the Bhopal district court had earlier sent two notices asking Dow Chemical to explain why it was not making Union Carbide appear in the ongoing criminal case on the disaster.
“In the photo available at the @PMO twitter handle, Liveris is seen smiling in the front row along with Prime Minister Modi. If this is not an invitation to ‘Make more Bhopals in India’ we do not know, what is?” he said.
“Dow Chemical, a US multinational like Union Carbide, is defying the Indian justice system while continuing to make millions of dollars as profits through its business in India and the Indian PM is pleading to Liveris to invest more in the country. For us in Bhopal, this is outrageous and disgusting,” said Nawab Khan of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha.
“We hope our PM has instructed the CBI to go hard against this criminal company that is sheltering killer Union Carbide. This way he can also prove that he is not all that the chief minister of Delhi says he is” said Safreen Khan of the group, Children against Dow Carbide.