Bhopal gas tragedy: Global campaign to make Dow appear before court | bhopal | Hindustan Times
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Bhopal gas tragedy: Global campaign to make Dow appear before court

The leaders of the five organisations of the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal appealed to people here on Tuesday to support the signature petition launched by their international supporters to make Dow Chemical, owner of Union Carbide, appear in the criminal proceedings on the disaster in the Bhopal District Court on July 13.

bhopal Updated: May 18, 2016 16:46 IST
Bhopal gas disaster survivors hold posters during a protest rally in Bhopal.
Bhopal gas disaster survivors hold posters during a protest rally in Bhopal. (File photo)

The leaders of the five organisations of the survivors of the 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal appealed to people here on Tuesday to support the signature petition launched by their international supporters to make Dow Chemical, owner of Union Carbide, appear in the criminal proceedings on the disaster in the Bhopal District Court on July 13. They made this appeal at a press conference here.

The leaders of the five organisations include Rashida Bi (Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh), Nawab Khan (Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha), Balkrishna Namdeo ( Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha), Satinath Sarangi, Rachna Dhingra (Bhopal Group for Information and Action) and Safreen Khan (Children Against Dow Carbide). Except for the Rashida BI, leaders of other four organisations were present during the press conference.

On this occasion, they informed that the petition, moved by the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, North America on May 15 at the website of the White House [https://petitions.whitehouse.gov] calls on the US Department of Justice to serve a notice issued by the Bhopal District Court upon Dow Chemical to appear in the ongoing criminal proceedings in India.

The petition will have to get 100, 000 signatures before June 15, 2016 to make the US government formally respond to the petition, they said. “Already 3,500 people have signed the petition. As a result of social media initiatives around the launch of the petition, Dow Chemical’s CEO, Andrew Liveris has had to make his twitter account private”, they added.

In addition, they claimed that the US Department of Justice was breaching a 15-year-old Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty between the US and India by refusing to serve the four notices from the Bhopal District Court sent by the Indian home ministry.

They said that their supporters in USA have garnered support for the petition from a number of US environmental and human rights organisations. “Eminent US citizens including Gary Cohen, one of the ‘Champions of Change’ nominated by the US President in 2013, Martin Sheen, acclaimed Hollywood actor and activist and Noam Chomsky, professor at MIT, and world-renowned academicians have extended their support to the petition”, they added.