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Bhopal victims meet Meira Kumar, submit demands

A group of representatives fighting for justice for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims on Friday met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and demanded package for their rehabilitation.

delhi Updated: Dec 03, 2010 20:01 IST

Bhopal victims meet Meira Kumar, submit demands

New Delhi: A group of representatives fighting for justice for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims on Friday met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and demanded package for their rehabilitation.

The memorandum submitted by the Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti and Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sanghathan covers the victims' demands related to health, compensation, rehabilitation, environment and arrest of Union Carbide's then chief Warren Anderson.

"The memorandum has the demands of the victims which have failed to get justice in 26 years," N D Jayaprakash, co-convener of Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh Sahayog Samiti, an NGO working for the gas tragedy victims, said.

"The speaker has assured that she will arrange for a meeting with the MPs and also try to arrange for a meeting with the committee of chemical and fertilizers ministry," Jayaprakash said.

A copy of the memorandum was also submitted to the vice-president's office for vice president and Rajya Sabha chairman M Hamid Ansari.

The memorandum also demands for fixing accountability on the central government and the Madhya Pradesh government for negligence.

"The government of India and the government of Madhya Pradesh must also be taken to task for their gross negligence in failing to carry out periodic safety inspections and monitor the design, maintenance and operation of the pesticide factory that was producing and storing highly hazardous chemicals and polluting the environment," the memorandum said.

It adds, "Merely pursuing the criminal case relating to the release of toxic gases on 02/03.12.1984 is not enough. Criminal cases must also be instituted against UCC and the concerned officials of UCC, UCE and UCIL for wanton destruction of the environment through unfettered dumping of toxic waste and for inflicting grievous injuries on unsuspecting citizens of Bhopal from 1969 to 1984."

Talking about health issues, the memorandum highlights that no proper treatment facility was made available for the victims even 26 years after the tragedy.

"Even 26 years after the disaster, every day on an average over 6,000 gas victims are forced to visit OPDs of seven hospitals and 17 polyclinics (especially set-up for gas-victims in Bhopal) seeking medical treatment for various gas-related ailments. However, there is no proper medical protocol for treating them and they are merely provided symptomatic relief," the memorandum said talking about the health issues.

"Very few initiatives have been taken by the state government for the economic rehabilitation of the surviving gas-victims by creating appropriate avenues for employment, which are suited to their weakened constitution," it added.