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Don't Let Indian Government Bury Bhopal!

CorpWatch India
June 26th, 2002

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Activist pressure on Dow Chemical Corporation may account for some recent developments in India regarding the Bhopal issue.

The government of India convened a high level cabinet meeting in India on June 7 on the issue of Bhopal and made the decisions that:

  1. The compensation funds for victims will be extended to the residents of an additional 20 wards, primarily Hindus. This is clearly a political move by the politicians to ensure Hindu votes. After all, residents of these wards were not exposed to the lethal gases.
  2. The compensation funds will be used to rehabilitate the soil and ground water contaminated by the reckless dumping of toxic chemicals by Union Carbide. Such a decision takes the responsibility of the clean up away from the perpetrators of the toxic contamination and more importantly, the compensation funds WERE NOT designed to pay for the clean up of the toxic contamination but rather pay the victims and survivors of the gas disaster.

In a related move, the Central Bureau of Investigation has proposed that charges of manslaughter against the CEO of Union Carbide at the time be reduced to charges of "causing injuries".

It is unfortunate that the Indian government is succumbing to the pressures from large US corporations such as Dow Chemical, and in essence, is signing away the rights of its citizens and absolving corporations of their crimes and resulting liabilities. It sends a strong message that its OK to do business in India with Bhopal disasters as the result. It also sets a precedent not just for India, but for the international community, that corporations are free to do business as they see fit, regardless of the human rights and environmental implications.

Join the Campaign for Justice in Bhopal by sending a free fax below to tell the Government of India that such a message is UNACCEPTABLE. For more information, see the Bhopal Fact Sheet, also the press release from the National Campaign for Justice in Bhopal.

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Ambassador Lalit Mansingh
Embassy of India
Washington DC USA

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