India pushing for Anderson's extradition: Pranab Mukherjee

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Kolkata/New Delhi/Bhopal, June 13 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said the Government of India is trying to extradite former Union Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson, the prime accused in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, from the United States.

"We are trying to extradite Anderson," said Mukherjee responding to the queries of the media persons here.

Condemning the alleged role of the Congress party in 'shielding' Anderson, a massive protest was organized by activists and academics in the New Delhi on Saturday.

Outraged over government apathy towards victims of the tragedy, the agitators chanted 'anti-Congress' slogans and staged a 'die in' to emphasize their viewpoint.

"The entire democratic and justice system of India, comprising the ruling party, the opposition, politicians, media, judges, the police and the Central Bureau of Investigation are all appearing to be criminal in this case," said Swami Agnivesh, a social activist.

"The entire system is today standing in the dock, and India wants answers," he added.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists staged a similar protest in Bhopal and held a torch rally to express solidarity with the victims of the tragedy.

The protestors' later burnt effigies of veteran Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Arjun Singh, Anderson and all others involved.

"There is no politics involved in this case. We ourselves are victims of the tragedy. We have seen the dance of death in Bhopal on that tragic night. There were bodies on the streets, and our eyes were itching due to the leaked gas," said Alok Sharma, Bhopal District BJP chief.

"There is no one in Bhopal who can do politics over this issue. There are other platforms of doing so," he added.

A District Magistrate's Court in Bhopal had on June 7 convicted all eight accused on grounds 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.

Anderson, the chairman of Union Carbide Worldwide, has been designated an absconder. (ANI)

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