The Communist Party of India on Wednesday deplored the recommendations made by the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the Bhopal gas tragedy, saying the manner in which the government is addressing the issue and that of the liability of the perpetrations would have serious implications for the country's future.
In a statement, “The Communist Party of India is of the view that the way the government is addressing the Bhopal disaster and the liability of the perpetrators will have serious implications for the country's future at a time when the UPA-II is in a hurry to get the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill passed by Parliament.''
The party's Central Secretariat urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convene an all-party meeting and invite representatives of all seven survivor's rights organisations to discuss all related issues of the disaster and decide the future course of action.
The party said, “It is a travesty of justice and mockery of investigation and trial with regard to a diabolic industrial disaster.”
It alleged that the GoM had “consciously glossed over” vital issues by creating a smokescreen of compensation. The P. Chidambaram-headed GoM went back on the decision of the GoM constituted by the first UPA government in 2008.
The present GoM had recommended compensation based on a flawed system of damage assessment. The government had not accepted the review of death claims or registration of gas exposure related deaths, while independent sources put the number of deaths at over 20,000 with over half-a-million people affected.
The CPI said the GoM did not raise the issue of how the CBI acted in an “incompetent manner” and how the charges were diluted. While making the government pay compensation, the GoM “remained meek in fixing the liability of the Union Carbide and DOW Chemical.”
“The GoM has deliberately skipped the issue of who allowed the safe passage of the former chief of the Union Carbide, Warren Anderson.” The party questioned the recommendation to spend money from the public exchequer to address the issue of toxic contamination.
It sought to know whether the recommendations were meant to send signals to the U.S. investors and to Washington with whom the UPA government was trying to build a strategic relationship.