Bhopal gas victims urge PM to fulfil demands

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New Delhi, Mar 28 (UNI) The victims of the Bhopal Gas tragedy today said they would not return until Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ''publicly'' assured to follow on his promises made to them two years ago.

Addressing mediapersons after completing the 800-km 'padyatra' from Bhopal, one of the activists Hazra Bee said, ''We were forced to walk down on foot because the Prime Minister failed to keep his word. We are not going back until he publicly assures to deliver up on his promises.'' The activists also claimed that the PMO denied them audience with Dr Singh.

However, the padyatra appears to have built strong opinion across the world. About 1300 faxes from 18 countries have already reached the PMO.

The Prime Minister had promised the gas victims to fulfil their demands which include empowering the Commission to implement social, medical and economic rehabilitation schemes for survivors and their children.

However, the Coordination Committee has inconclusively met thrice, according to the gas victims.

''This is a repeat of the betrayal of 1989 when the Government had colluded with Union Carbide to shortchange the people of Bhopal on the compensation settlement,'' said Satinath Sarangi, an activist from the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

''As many as 23,000 people have died, and the collusion still continues. We are determined to break this corporate-Government nexus that plays havoc with people's lives,'' he added.

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