Bhopal gas tragedy victims seek Govt. to rethink over rehabilitation

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Bhopal, July 3 (ANI): Activists and victims of the Bhopal gas leak tragedy of 1984 staged a mass protest here on Saturday to vent their objection and ire at the anomalies in the compensation package that was finalised by the central Group of Ministers (GoM) for the victims recently.

The protest demonstration was held under the aegis of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan, a group fighting for the rights of the Bhopal gas leak victims.

"The Government of India should rethink its decision. And the state government of Madhya Pradesh, instead of making big promises should work seriously for the rehabilitation of the victims, medication, economic, social and environmental rehabilitation. They should work seriously towards it," said Abdul Jabbar, Convenor of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan.

Jabbar noted that the state government of Madhya Pradesh should pressurise the central government on this issue.

He also said that a memorandum addressed to President Pratibha Patil has been handed over to the Governor of Madhya Pradesh.

"We want that we should get the compensation. We are facing so many troubles. We neither get proper medicines nor the treatment. I just got operated for cancer and got eight chemo injections. I was suffering so much," said Nafisa, one of the victims of the tragic incident while participating in the protest rally.

The affected areas were divided into wards by the government for the distribution of the compensation package.

The Group of Ministers (GoM), constituted to examine all aspects of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, had submitted the report the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on June 21.

The GoM had dealt with all the issues - compensation, legal issues, including the issue of the extradition of Warren Anderson, the legal options available to the Government of India, and most importantly, remediation matters, and health related matters.

Union Carbide settled its liabilities to the Indian government in 1989 by paying 470 million dollars before being bought by another US company, Dow Chemical.

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

Activists and health workers say a further 100,000 people who were exposed to the gas continue to suffer till date. (ANI)

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