London Olympics: IOA demands to drop Dow as sponsor

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Bhopal Gas tragedy
Bhopal, Dec 16: The 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy continues to hog limelight for various reasons even after 27 years, with the latest being the rising dissent over the association of London Olympics with Dow Chemicals, the current owner of the Union Carbide plant here.

Dow Chemicals is one of the major sponsors of the Games scheduled to be held in August 2012 and Olympians here have raised this issue again to highlight the plight of the victims since the issue of inadequate compensation has still remained unresolved.

Hockey Olympians, former Union Minister and Ex-MP Aslam Sher Khan and Jalaluddin Rizvi demanded that the Organising Committee of the London Olympics, disassociate itself from Dow as it will hurt the sentiments of the Indians.

“We are satisfied to some extent that at least the sponsorship matter of Dow Chemicals has become a big issue and now even the Union Sports Minister Ajay Maken and Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Acting President, Vijay Kumar Malhotra have realised that the association of the MNC with the Olympics will not go down well with the Indian people,” Aslam told PTI.

“I am happy that the IOA has decided to write a strong protest letter to the organisers of London Olympics on the issue,” he said.

Malhotra had yesterday demanded that Dow be removed from being one of the sponsors of the Games in wake of the peoples’ protests over a company linked with Union Carbide, which killed thousands in the gas tragedy.

Rizvi also welcomed the IOA’s decision. On what would be his stand in case Dow Chemicals continues to sponsor London Olympics, he said that though it is it too early, in such a scenario as a sportsperson he would not favour boycott of Olympics.

Instead of boycotting Olympics, which happens after every four years, the players should take part in Olympics under protest by sporting black bands, he suggested.

PTI

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