?Mr Mahindra, gas did leak and kill our kin?
A DAY after the then Union Carbide of India (UCIL) Chairman Keshub Mahindra and others pleaded ignorance about the December 2-3 disaster, hundreds of gas victims lined up in the civil court premises to ?remind? them that the disaster did indeed take place and they had lost their kith and kin in the tragedy.india Updated: Feb 08, 2006 11:53 IST
A DAY after the then Union Carbide of India (UCIL) Chairman Keshub Mahindra and others pleaded ignorance about the December 2-3 disaster, hundreds of gas victims lined up in the civil court premises to ‘remind’ them that the disaster did indeed take place and they had lost their kith and kin in the tragedy.
Many of them were carrying pictures of their near and dear ones who perished in the disaster. Crying inconsolably, the demonstrators urged the police to let them meet the accused persons so that they could tell them about what havoc the MIC leak had wreaked on Bhopal.
During the examination by court on Monday, former chairman of UCIL Mahindra, former managing director Vijay Gokhale, former vice president Kishore Kamdar and former production manager S P Choudhury had reportedly said that they did not know anything about the gas leakage or its devastating impact.
Even as the gas victims demonstrated outside, the accused were to be further examined today. But they refused to come to the court till the demonstrators were dispersed.
Later, police persuaded the gas victims to leave the campus. After the accused arrived in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) A K Gupta, the examination continued. The court examined former works manager at the UCIL Bhopal unit J Mukund, plant superintendent K V Shetty and production assistant Shakeel Qureshi.
Questions framed by the court for examining the accused have gone up to 170. The accused examined yesterday were asked 46 questions.
The court will frame more questions and examination of accused would continue on next hearings. The accused examined today also replied in ‘I Don’t know’, ‘I don’t remember’ or ‘I am not aware’ to most of the questions asked relating to gas leakage from the plant, its impact, death of hundreds of people, the chaos that the gas leak had led to, lack of safety measures at the plant and allied subjects.
Convener of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangthan (BGPMUS) Abdul Jabbar has raised objection to the ‘privileges’ allegedly given to accused persons during examination by the court.
He said that the accused were normally asked to stand in the box meant for them in the court room but high-profile accused in this case were allowed to sit all through and chairs were offered to them even while they were questioned.
Jabbar said that he would move an application in the court praying that the same treatment be accorded to the accused in this case as any other ordinary accused. The case would now come up for hearing on March 1.