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Updated: June 14, 2010 02:19 IST

Fear over law and order behind Arjun’s move: Pranab

Marcus Dam
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An elderly survivor holds a poster of Warren Anderson while she waits for the verdict in the premises of Bhopal court on June 7.
AP An elderly survivor holds a poster of Warren Anderson while she waits for the verdict in the premises of Bhopal court on June 7.

Fear of failing law and order situation in the aftermath of the gas tragedy in December 1984 prompted the then Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Arjun Singh, to facilitate the departure of the then chairman of the United States-based Union Carbide group, Warren Anderson, from Bhopal, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Sunday.

The Centre was exploring the possibility of extradition of Mr. Anderson, Mr. Mukherjee told journalists here.

Appeal against the verdict

It would also look into the “legal angle and procedures” to appeal to the higher judiciary against the Bhopal court ruling on June 7.

The court verdict did not make any mention of Mr. Anderson.

On Mr. Anderson being whisked away from the city in the aftermath of the tragedy, Mr. Mukherjee said: “Yes, the Congress was in government in the State as well as the Centre”.

“It has been clearly stated by Arjun Singh in a statement then that the law and order situation there would have deteriorated as people's frenzy was so high and tempers were running high. Therefore, it was thought necessary to send him [Mr. Anderson] out of Bhopal,” he said.

Mr. Singh made a statement on December 8, 1984 as reported in an English newspaper, Mr. Mukherjee said.

It is funny that in the eyes of Congress letting Anderson leave the country over the fear of law and order is justified, whereas in the Kandahar episode release of Masood Azhar over the fear of losing hostages life is unpatriotic.

from:  Suresh Iyengar
Posted on: Jun 14, 2010 at 06:06 IST
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