Warren Anderson could have been murdered by mob: Document
Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson could have been murdered by an angry mob in the surcharged atmosphere in Bhopal after the 1984 gas leak, an internal document, prepared to counter the opposition campaign that Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and the Centre had helped him leave the country, said. I am free to go home: Anderson after Bhopal tragedydelhi Updated: Jun 16, 2010 19:43 IST
Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson could have been murdered by an angry mob in the surcharged atmosphere in Bhopal after the 1984 gas leak, an internal document, prepared to counter the opposition campaign that Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and the Centre had helped him leave the country, said.
"The atmosphere close to the disaster in December 1984 in Bhopal was charged and violent because of so many deaths. In such an atmosphere, if Anderson would have remained in Bhopal, he would have been murdered by the mob and serious law and order problem would have arisen," said the document prepared by an AICC office-bearer.
"It was necessary in such a grave situation that Anderson leaves Bhopal, which was an administrative unavoidable compulsion to prevent further aggravation of the situation," it said.
Maintaining that the FIR against Anderson was registered under section 304 A (causing death due to rash or negligent act), a bailable offence, the party said he was "rightly" given bail.
"There was no condition that he will not leave India nor any such condition could have been imposed as it was a bailable section, as per section 436 CrPC, as such his movement were not restricted whether within India or outside India," said thee document prepared by K C Mittal, Secretary, Legal Aid and Human Rights Department of the AICC.
Arguing that it was the duty of the state to protect the life of every citizen including a criminal, the document referred to the Government incurring expenses on providing legal aid to Mumbai attack accused Ajmal Kasab.
"How much money, the state has spent to save and protect Kasab, even though in the public eyes, he has killed so many people," it said.
The party said since Anderson had given an undertaking to appear in the court as and when required, he was bound to present himself in the court, whether in India or abroad.
"As far as bringing back Anderson is concerned, it was the responsibility of the court and CBI to take steps as per law...as regarding the charge under section 304 part II, since the Supreme Court judgement is final, the only available course with CBI was to file a supplementary chargesheet after further investigation, which they have not done," Mittal said.
He said that the presence of Anderson could still be secured by enforcement of law.
In the same breath, the party sought to defend the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was accused by the BJP of having agreed to Anderson's release under US pressure.
"There is a sinister design to somehow malign and drag Rajivji into the picture...the important aspect is that in so far as the grant of compensation or providing rehabilitation scheme to the victims, the central government has taken adequate steps and measures, which are laudable and appreciable," the party said.
The party also credited Gandhi with taking a "historic and visionary step" of brining in an ordinance that was later converted into act for filing a legal suit in American courts on behalf of the affected victims saying it protected the interests of victims, who would otherwise have been "doomed" and further victimised by persons having vested interests.
"It was because of this step by Rajiv Gandhi that the compensation amount could be made available for the rehabilitation of affected persons," the document said.
Under attack by the opposition parties over handling of the case, the party has now questioned the role of non-Congress governments in the episode.
"Dr Subramaniam Swami, who was the Law Minister (during the Prime Ministership of Chandrashekhar) as also the NDA Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani, the Home Minister did not take any step nor even bothered to look into the matter during their tenure. They were totally unconcerned," it said.