PM 'backtracked' on promises: Bhopal gas victims

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New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) The victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy has accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of ''backtracking'' to his promises made to them two years ago.

Fifty such victims will reach here tomorrow after a whirlwind 'padyatra' since February 20 and submit a memorandum to Dr Singh containing 20 questions.

Speaking to the media at Faridabad today, the organisations spearheading the struggle, said the Prime Minister reneged on his promises made in 2006, which led them to hold the 800-km rally, 'March for Justice'.

According to them, Dr Singh had promised the victims to constitute a special commission and legal action against Dow Chemicals after their hunger strike in 2006.

Fifteen gas victims who held a march in 2006, had, got a positive assurance from the Prime Minister, they claimed.

''He agreed with us over the need to set up a body, especially for the medical care and rehabilitation of the people affected by the gas leak,'' they said.

''The Prime Minister had ordered constitution of a Coordination Committee, including some victims,'' said Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

Sarangi claimed to be among the delegation calling on the Prime Minister in 2006.

However, the last two years have proved the assurances ''false'', the victims alleged.

Citing the lack of independent authority and funds as the reason behind the failure of the Coordination Committee on Bhopal, the victims demanded a specially empowered commission in line with the Atomic Energy Commission and the Indian Space Commission.

The Prime Minister also reneged on his promise to ensure legal action against the two US multinationals -- Union Carbide and its current owner Dow Chemical, they alleged.


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