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Manmohan unlikely to raise Anderson's extradition issue with Obama

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is unlikely to raise the issue of extraditing former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson from the US when he meets President Barack Obama in Toronto, top officials said today.
By HT Correspondent | IANS, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 25, 2010 11:07 PM IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is unlikely to raise the issue of extraditing former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson from the US when he meets President Barack Obama in Toronto, top officials said on Friday.

"This is an old issue. It is an issue on which we have gone through the drill," a top official said, as the prime minister was leaving for the Canadian city for the two-day G20 Summit that starts on Saturday.

"For the prime minister to raise this issue, the time is neither ripe nor right," said the official, when asked if it was expected to come up during the meeting between the two leaders.

Anderson was named a proclaimed offender by a Bhopal court which on June 7 convicted seven former officials of Union Carbide for criminal neglect in the 1984 tragedy - the worst industrial disaster that killed thousands and left several thousand others maimed.

The fact that Anderson had visited India soon after the Dec 2-3, 1984 disaster and was given safe passage back home has led to a raging controversy.

The official, well versed on India's stands on numerous issues, said it was for the country's premier probe team, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to come out with proper documentation to facilitate the extradition of Anderson.

"We have already sent a request (to the US) and there is already a reply that is what we need," said the official, adding the investigation agency will make a case accordingly and revert back to the US.

Anderson was Union Carbide boss in 1984 when on the night of Dec 2-3, nearly 40 tonnes of methyl isocynate gas leaked out of storage tanks of its Bhopal plant, killing an estimated 20,000 people over the years.

A ministerial panel on the disaster on Thursday recommended enhanced compensation for the victims and also announced it was looking for ways to seek the extradition of Anderson.

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