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‘Focus on Bhopal victims, not legalities’

A quarter of a century after the Bhopal gas disaster, former Union Carbide India Ltd Chairman Keshub Mahindra wants the government to “quickly” compensate the victims instead of bothering about the legal aspects of the case.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Bhopal
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2010 01:21 AM IST

A quarter of a century after the Bhopal gas disaster, former Union Carbide India Ltd Chairman Keshub Mahindra wants the government to “quickly” compensate the victims instead of bothering about the legal aspects of the case.

“For 20 years, my sympathies have been with the people of Bhopal. What happened was terrible. And, what should be done should be done quickly. If they need compensation, give them compensation. Instead of spending time on legal matters, we should look after the victims of Bhopal,” Mahindra said, speaking to reporters for the first time since the 1984 tragedy.

Mahindra and four others, who were convicted on June 7 in the gas leak case, were granted bail by a court on Tuesday.

The veteran industrialist, who presented himself in the court of the district and sessions judge to complete the formalities to secure bail in the matter, claimed his conviction was wrong and there was no evidence to hold him guilty.

Last month, Mahindra resigned as a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Trade and Industry. “It was a great honour to be a member of the council but I did not want to discredit the honour,” he said on his resignation.

More than 15,000 people were killed in the gas tragedy, widely regarded as the world’s worst industrial disaster, in December 1984 when poisonous methyl isocyanate gas leaked from Union Carbide’s Indian plant in Bhopal.

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