Kolkata, July 13 (ANI): Over 500 physically challenged persons demonstrated outside the US Consulate General here on Monday.
They were protesting against the Bhopal gas leak tragedy and also expressed their solidarity with the victims.
Further, they demanded the early arrest and extradition of the main accused in the case, Warren Anderson who was the chairman of the Union Carbide in 1984 when the gas leak took place.
The protestors demanded answers from the US government regarding the measures and steps taken by Washington in addressing the plight of the thousands affected by the tragedy.
"Anderson has not been extradited till now. The Prime Minister should answer this, why Anderson has not been extradited. We are asking all the handicapped people, the Bhopal gas victims, who have come to the American Centre, they want to ask the American government, why Anderson has not been extradited and why the American government has not been saying anything about Bhopal gas victims," said Sadhna Kartik Pradhan, a member of Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sanyukt Samiti, a group fighting for the rights of the gas leak victims.
The demonstrators burnt an effigy of Anderson outside the Consulate and shouted slogans demanding justice to be served to them immediately.
"We are here mainly for three reasons, first the chief perpetrator of the crime Mr. Warren Anderson has to be brought to book and has to be tried in Indian courts and has to be immediately arrested.
Secondly, still a lot of wastage remains in the city of Bhopal and thereby lot of polluting elements are being spread in the environment and that is causing many disabilities till now. So, we immediately want that the concerned company has to take initiative to disperse all those wastage and thirdly in those 25 years no adequate compensation has been provided to the victims," said Anirban Mukherjee, a member of the Paschimbanga Gas Peedit Sanyukt Samiti (West Bengal Forum for Gas Victims).
The protestors also expressed their displeasure at the compensation package finalised by the federal Group of Ministers (GoM) for the victims recently.
The 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 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 expo. (ANI)