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Updated: June 12, 2010 17:43 IST

Set up independent probe on Bhopal: CPI(M)

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CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat. Photo: Vipin Chandran
The Hindu CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat. Photo: Vipin Chandran

The CPI(M) on Saturday sought a comprehensive and independent inquiry into all aspects of the Bhopal gas tragedy, saying a Group of Ministers will not be able to probe the “failure” of State agencies, judiciary and other authorities in the matter.

“There has been connivance between the then governments, both at the Central and the State levels. The 26 years of history of Bhopal shows the failure of the State agencies, the judiciary and various authorities in seeing that justice is done.

“Therefore it is time that there is a comprehensive inquiry into how this happened. This cannot be done by a Group of Ministers. It has to be done independently,” CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat told reporters here.

Asked what kind of independent probe he was seeking, he said his party was in discussion with groups concerned on the issue and would come out with suggestions later.

Two days after the court verdict in the Bhopal gas case, the government on June 9 set up a 10 member GoM, headed by Home Minister P. Chidambaram, to look into relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the world’s worst industrial disaster.

Referring to the nuclear liability bill introduced in Parliament in the budget session, Mr. Karat reiterated the Left parties’ demand that it should be scrapped immediately. “This bill must be scrapped forthwith because what it will do is to legalise exemption of all liability for foreign suppliers,” the CPI(M) leader said.

The GoM has been tasked to examine all issues relating to Bhopal gas leakage including remedial measures and make appropriate recommendations relating to the relief and rehabilitation of the victims of the tragedy and their families.

Nearly 26 years after the disaster left over 15,000 dead, former Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub Mahindra and six others were sentenced to two years imprisonment by a Bhopal court on June 7.

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