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Dow spies on Bhopal activists

Indian activists fighting for the victims of the Bhopal gas leak disaster are being monitored by an American strategic affairs company contracted to Dow Chemical and other large corporations, the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks said Monday. Dipankar De Sarkar reports.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2012 01:15 IST
Dipankar De Sarkar
Victims-of-the-1984-Bhopal-Gas-tragedy-pose-as-dead-bodies-during-a-protest-outside-the-sports-ministry-demanding-cancellation-of-Dow-Chemicals-sponsorship-of-the-London-2012-Olympics-in-New-Delhi-AP-Saurabh-Das
Victims-of-the-1984-Bhopal-Gas-tragedy-pose-as-dead-bodies-during-a-protest-outside-the-sports-ministry-demanding-cancellation-of-Dow-Chemicals-sponsorship-of-the-London-2012-Olympics-in-New-Delhi-AP-Saurabh-Das

Indian activists fighting for the victims of the Bhopal gas leak disaster are being monitored by an American strategic affairs company contracted to Dow Chemical and other large corporations, the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks said Monday.

The disclosure comes on the day the Indian sports ministry wrote to the International Olympic Committee urging it to drop Dow as a sponsor of the London Olympics.

Dow Chemical merged with Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) in 1997, 27 years after the gas leak from UCC’s Indian subsidiary in Bhopal. The December 3, 1984 gas tragedy is considered the world’s worst industrial disaster in which more than 15,000 people died.

On Monday, WikiLeaks began publishing over five million emails from the Texas-based Stratfor, which describes itself as a global intelligence company.

The emails, dating between 2004 and 2011, reveal the company provides “confidential intelligence services” to large corporations, including Dow, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and government agencies.

WikiLeaks said Stratfor monitored and analysed the online activities of Bhopal activists, including the Yes Men, for Dow. “What has surfaced... is that Dow, a large company that has not settled compensation in any reasonable manner, is hiring this private spy firm to monitor the activities of representatives from organisations fighting for justice for those who were harmed,” WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson told HT.

Read e-mails | Blog: Wikileaks empowers us on Bhopal