New Delhi -- The indefinite hunger strike by survivors of
the Bhopal gas tragedy entered the fifth day today with no assurance
coming from the government on their demands.
Two woman survivors and an activist from Bhopal started the hunger
strike at Jantar Mantar here on June 29 demanding withdrawal of CBI
application in the court for dilution of charges against the then Union
Carbide Corporation (UCC) chairman Warren Anderson and revocation of the
government's decision to distribute compensation funds among the people
who were not affected by the 1984 gas disaster.
The CBI had filed an application before the Chief Judicial Magistrate in
Bhopal on May 24, seeking modification of charges against Anderson from
"culpable homicide" to a "rash and negligent act."
"It is surprising that the prosecuting agency should seek this
modification when the accused themselves have chosen to stay away from
the process of law for 18 years and have not sought any such relief from
the court," said Disabled Rights Group convenor Javed Abidi who visited
the site to express the group's solidarity with the protestors.
The two women sitting on the hunger strike are Tara Bai (35) and Rashida
Bee (46) while Satinath Sarangi (48), a founder member of the Bhopal
Group for Information and Action, is the third protestor.
The protest in the capital, organised by the National Campaign for
Justice in Bhopal, began with a sit-in on June 26 by some 200 activists
while the ongoing hunger strike started on June 29.
The Bhopal gas survivors are also opposing the government's decision to
distribute the balance of compensation fund to residents of 20 municipal
wards in Bhopal which were not affected by the gas disaster.