Victims and survivors of the Bhopal gas leak tragedy on Saturday called off the rail roko — which was launched demanding correct figures of death cases and more compensation — following an assurance from Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan.
Mr. Chauhan met five representatives of the victims separately and assured them that he would personally talk to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the revised compensation for cases of “death caused by temporary or permanent injury” by qualifying them as cases of “death caused due to the gas leak.”
“We have been assured that the figures will be corrected in January, before the hearing of the curative petition scheduled for February. If that does not happen, we will re-launch our agitation,” Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group of Information and Action told The Hindu.
On the other hand, Minister for Gas Relief Babulal Gaur told a TV channel that the fate of the victims was now at “God's mercy.”
“It is because of this attitude of the Minister that we decided to directly meet the CM,” said Ms. Dhingra.
Earlier in the day, the agitators, who blocked major railway lines going through Bhopal, turned violent at Barkhedi in old Bhopal after the police reportedly beat them up. Some anti-socials took advantage of the situation and started throwing stones at the police.
Ms. Dhingra said: “The police lathicharged a group of women protesters after they burnt an effigy. This angered the men who retaliated by pelting stones at the police. In the process, some people sustained injuries and a police vehicle was torched.”
Bhopal activist Abdul Jabbar condemned the incident. “The struggle for justice has been going on for 26 years and yet there has never been any violent incident ever. There is no room for violence in a peaceful agitation,” he said.