New Delhi, Mar 24: In a fresh development to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy case, Warren Anderson, the prime accused in one of the world's deadliest industrial disaster, was reportedly allowed to walk out of jail at the behest of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Home Minister Narasimha Rao.
The sensational revelation was made by a report published in a Hindi daily, Nai Duniya, which quoted a report filed by Justice SL Kochar headed panel. The panel had on Feb 24 submitted its report to the Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Antony JC Disa. [Union Carbide's Warren Anderson died unnoticed on Sept 29: Reports]
The panel gave a clean chit to the then Bhopal District Magistrate Moti Singh and SP Swaraj Puri, who were facing charges of assisting Anderson's departure from Bhopal. The report said that Moti and Swaraj abide by the instructions given to them by their seniors.
It stated that Rajiv and Narasimha had verbally ordered the Cabinet Secretary of the Central government to ensure release of Anderson. He had then asked Madhya Pradesh Secretary Brahma Swaroop for the same.
Warren Anderson was the former CEO of the Union Carbide Corporation died on September 29, 2014, at a nursing home in Vero Beach in Florida. He was 93. He is survived by his wife Lillian.
The deadly gas disaster killed thousands and left several injured in Bhopal in the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984.
Anderson's death was not announced by his family and was confirmed from public reports, said a New York Times report.
Anderson was accused after poisonous gas leakage from Union Carbide India Limited, a subsidiary of the UCC, killed thousands of common people.
He came to India and was put in custody by the authorities. He paid bail soon and left India not to return again. Anderson was declared a fugitive from justice in 1992 after he failed to appear at the court hearings in a culpable homicide case.
An arrest warrant was also issued in his name in 2009 but the United States refused to extradite him citing lack of evidence. The Indian government made several requests to get hold of the man but in vain.
In 1989, Union Carbide authorities paid $470 million to the Indian government to settle the litigation but the common people refused to forgive the man.
Anderson was born to Swedish immigrants in Brooklyn in the US in November 1921.