“The fight for justice for the people of Bhopal is not just for compensation, but to ensure that Bhopal [gas tragedy] is not repeated,” said CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat.
He was here to participate in a talk “Hum Sab Bhopal” held in the Gandhi Bhavan complex on Friday. The Marxist leader emphasised the need to ensure that another American corporation did not risk the lives of the citizens of this country for the sake of profit.
“The governments of our country have not been able to either secure the extradition of [the former Union Carbide chief] Warren Anderson or ensure fair compensation to the victims of the tragedy. It is only the grit and determination of the people of Bhopal that has kept the struggle for justice alive,” said Mr. Karat.
He visited the Union Carbide factory and participated in a human chain at the site. Survivors' organisations, however, expressed their displeasure at their not being made a party to the discussions at the Gandhi Bhavan.
The Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, the Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Children Against Dow Carbide wrote a letter to Mr. Karat in this regard.
“We welcome your initiative in supporting the 26-year-old struggle of the survivors of Bhopal …. we regret that except what has appeared in the media none of us has any information on your visit. We hear that there will be a public meeting, but have no information on where it will be and at what time … three of our organisations were not even informed, let alone consulted,” read the letter.
“We are thankful for the support we have received over the years from members of Parliament belonging to your party. At the same time, we wish to convey our dismay that the West Bengal government eagerly sought investment by The Dow Chemical Company, current owner of the Union Carbide, to set up a chemical complex near Haldia.”