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Updated: August 12, 2010 02:34 IST

Persistent calls came from Home Ministry to let off Anderson: Arjun

  • Gargi Parsai
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Former Union Minister Arjun Singh. File photo
Former Union Minister Arjun Singh. File photo

‘Manmohan must take up extradition issue with Obama’

Breaking his silence on the Bhopal gas tragedy on Wednesday in the Rajya Sabha, Congress member Arjun Singh said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should take up with United States President Barack Obama, during his coming visit, the issue of extradition of Warren Anderson, former chairman of United Carbide Corporation.

“This is an unspoken promise to be fulfilled. Then full and adequate compensation [for the victims of gas leak] can be asked for.”

Participating in a short duration discussion on recent developments relating to the Bhopal tragedy, Mr. Arjun Singh said he had read somewhere that Mr. Obama had said: “let somebody make a reference, then we'll see.”

Mr. Singh, who was Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh when toxic methylisocyanate gas leaked from Union Carbide's factory in Bhopal killing thousands of people on December 3, 1984, told the House that there had been “persistent calls” from the Home Ministry for letting off Mr. Anderson, whom he arrested on arrival in Bhopal on December 6.

Taking “full responsibility” for the arrest, Mr. Singh said he was informed by his Chief Secretary (Brahma Swarup) that there had been “persistent calls” from Home Ministry officials in New Delhi for granting bail to Mr. Anderson.

He said that when Mr. Anderson was sent back in a state plane, even he felt it was incongruous. “I do not want to enlarge upon that and add to the grief and bitterness by shifting my blame on anybody.” Mr. Singh said that on the night of December 3 he informed the Prime Minister's Office about the tragedy. Rajiv Gandhi, who was away on an election tour, visited Bhopal the following day.

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Congress thinks PV Narasimha Rao is dumbster to which they can dump everything. Let us see how many more things they can dump.

from:  Anil Kumar
Posted on: Aug 13, 2010 at 07:22 IST

Arjun Singh has admitted in Rajya Sabha that Anderson was let go on receipt of several calls from union home ministry. No official in the home ministry or the chief minister has the powers to grant bail or let any suspected criminal go free . As such what he has done is against the law of the land and he be prosecuted for this.

from:  nkgulati
Posted on: Aug 13, 2010 at 03:17 IST

Even if we believe what Arjun is telling us, he has to keep in mind who was the PVN's boss when this happened? How come home ministry took such decision without PMO office involvement. It is an insult to the people of India's intelligence that we have to hear such statements from Arjun.

from:  prasbad
Posted on: Aug 13, 2010 at 02:26 IST

Arjun Singh's comments were expected. There was already a hint in the air that the line of action to be taken would be to blame a leader who was no more alive. We should now have PV Narsimha Rao's son to come out with the truth.

from:  J Kumar Dutt
Posted on: Aug 13, 2010 at 02:14 IST

Arjun Singh did the expected.The party and the people are ungrateful to Mr.Rao who shaped the destiny of the nation. If we have Manmohan Singh driving us through it is because of Rao.

from:  rajanbabu
Posted on: Aug 12, 2010 at 11:32 IST

Arjun Singh is misleading India again by saying Rajiv Gandhi never uttered a word about Anderson to be freed from Bhopal.

from:  Ravindra Nath
Posted on: Aug 12, 2010 at 07:26 IST

Is this a responsible answer or explanation for thousands lives? Will this cure the inner hurts?...will people of India wake up?

from:  vinoth
Posted on: Aug 12, 2010 at 05:08 IST

If Home Minster's office's phone call was behind this and Arjun Singh did not like it, then why did he not consult Rajiv who was PM and negate PV's decision? Obviously CM has more weight particularly during election time. Arjun did not even voice opposition to send Anderson away. The same Arjun Singh vociferously opposed PV's stand of devaluing currency.

from:  Prakash Kapila
Posted on: Aug 12, 2010 at 02:57 IST

What benefit or relief would the gas tragedy victims get, even if you are able to get Anderson to India. Don't waste your energy on getting Anderson. Spend your energy on getting more compensation for the victims.

from:  Subramanian
Posted on: Aug 12, 2010 at 02:43 IST

I don't believe one iota of it. If it were true he would have shot it out as soon as the judgment was out.

from:  shrikumar
Posted on: Aug 12, 2010 at 02:36 IST

I can't believe it! This party has given absolutely no credit to PVN, who brought the country from an economic brink.

from:  Pramod
Posted on: Aug 12, 2010 at 01:36 IST
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