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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

Bhopal gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar not treated well, alleges brother

The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) denied charges of negligence and said Abdul Jabbar needed a bypass surgery for his heart ailment and a leg had to be amputated for gangrene but both surgeries could not have been done at the same time.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2019 14:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Bhopal gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar died of cardiac arrest in a hospital on Thursday.
Bhopal gas tragedy activist Abdul Jabbar died of cardiac arrest in a hospital on Thursday.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)
         

Abdul Jabbar, a leading activist for survivors of the Bhoapl gas tragedy victims, who died of cardiac arrest Thursday, was not treated well at the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) and doctors kept the family in the dark about his ailment, his brother Abdul Shamim alleged on Friday.

“They (doctors) just kept sending my brother to several hospitals for different tests despite the fact BMHRC is a super specialty hospital. Also, no one came forward to help us in the hour of crisis,” Shamim said. “When he was shifted to a private hospital it was too late.”

Sixty two-year-old Jabbar who lost his parents and a brother to the 1984 tragedy, fought relentlessly for the last 35 years to ensure justice to those affected by one of the world’s biggest industrial disasters.

Jabbar died of cardiac arrest on Thursday night at a private hospital hours before the state government made arrangements to shift him to Mumbai in an air-ambulance for better treatment.

The burial took place on Friday afternoon in presence of a large number of people including minister for public relations PC Sharma, former central minister Suresh Pachauri and people from various sections of life at the graveyard near Bhopal railway station.

Family members said he had developed gangrene in one of his legs and was suffering from heart ailments.

A BMHRC spokesperson, however, denied the charges of negligence.

“There was no negligence on the part of the hospital. Since he was suffering from gangrene and heart ailments both surgeries couldn’t have been performed at the same time. He had been advised for a by-pass surgery about eight months back. Due the gangrene his leg needed amputation which couldn’t have been done at BMHRC as there are only super-specialty facilities available here, not the facility of general surgery,” the spokesperson said.

Jabbar not only fought against the successive governments for justice and better facilities and compensation for the survivors, he also initiated several legal battles to get those punished who were responsible for the tragedy that killed more than 3500 people as per the government record, and affected thousands others after methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from a plant of Union Carbide.

Like many others, Jabbar often said he was upset with the approach of the state and central governments for not ensuring that the main accused in the tragedy case Warren Anderson, the then CEO of Union Carbide, was held accountable.

Warren Anderson was allegedly given a safe passage after his arrival in Bhopal to return to the USA. He died in Florida in September 2014 without facing any trial in the case.

Jabbar founded the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan to highlight the plight of the survivors and fight for their cause.

Minister for public relations PC Sharma paid tributes to the activist on behalf of the state government.

Former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “Abdul Jabbar will always be remembered for his work he did for Bhopal Gas Tragedy survivors.”

An activist fighting for the Bhopal gas tragedy victims Rachna Dingra said, “He was a fighter in the true sense fighting for the cause of the tragedy victims. His demise has created a void that can’t be filled.”