Bhopal gas tragedy: US hopes judgment won't affect ties with India

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Washington, June 8 (ANI): The United States has expressed the hope that the Bhopal gas tragedy verdict would not hamper growing ties with India.

Reacting to the Bhopal gas verdict, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake said: "I don't expect this verdict to reopen any new inquiries or anything like that. 'On the contrary, we hope that this is going to help to bring closure."

On Monday, a District Magistrate's Court in Bhopal convicted all eight accused on of negligence under Section 304 (a) for the tragedy.

The court also granted bail to seven of the eight accused and released them on submission of a bond and a surety of Rs 25,000 each.

The eight accused are Keshub Mahendra, Vijay Gokhle, Kishore Kamdar, J Mukund, S P Choudhary, K V Shetty and S I Qureshi and R B Roy Choudhary.

Out of the accused R B Roy Choudhary, then former Assistant Works Manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), Mumbai, died during the trial. Warren Andreson, the chairman of Union Carbide Worldwide, has been designated as absconder.

The FIR in the tragedy was filed on December 3, 1984 and the case was transferred to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on December 6, 1984. The CBI filed the charge sheet after investigation on December 1, 1987.

In the early hours of December 3, 1984, around 40 metric tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked into the atmosphere and was carried by wind to surrounding slums.

The government says around 3,500 died in the disaster. Rights activists, however, claim that 25,000 people have died so far. (ANI)

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