The Union Carbide has used the US as a safe haven from criminal charges to dodge charges of culpable homicide, said Salil Shetty, the secretary general of Amnesty International.
“Not a single American employee who was on the top has been brought to justice. If the same disaster had been caused by an Indian company on US soil, there is no way they would have got away with it,” Shetty told media on Sunday.
“The US has to show that it treats all human beings equal. And human rights are for all, whether you are a poor Muslim woman in Bhopal or a US citizen in Louisiana who suffered from the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Shetty. “The double standards are outrageous. President Obama after all went after BP and secured over 20 billion dollars for the oil spill. We know that the safety standards in the West Virginia plant of Union Carbide were much higher than Bhopal. It is time to right these wrongs,” added Shetty. The Bhopal Chief Judicial Magistrate has called Union Carbide six times but because of their consistent no show has called Union Carbide an “absconder from justice.” Only seven Union Carbide India officials have been convicted. Not a single American employee who was on top has been even brought to justice, Shetty said.
“Let all domestic options exhaust then only one should think about approaching International Court. The government of India should invite UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to carry out independent audit of environment pollution.
“The previous governments let UC off the hook for thousands of deaths and injuries by wildly underestimating the number of people killed and maimed. The Indian government should re-verify the data against health records and make the figures credible and in line with ICMR and even state government records,” he said.
Shetty rued that clean up of the toxic waste still sitting in the plant and the widespread contamination is an urgent requirement.