Bhopal gas victims begin indefinite fast, demand additional compensation

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Bhopal gas victims begin indefinite fast
New Delhi, Nov 10: Victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy on Monday began an indefinite fast in Delhi, demanding additional compensation for those affected and revision of the figures after 30 years of suffering.

The Union Carbide disaster took place on the intervening night of Dec 2-3, 1984. Five women survivors began their fast at Jantar Mantar with other survivors and children.

"In 2010, a group of ministers decided to pay additional compensation of Rs 1 lakh but left as many as 93 percent survivors without any specific or legal reason. We are calling upon this (NDA) government to correct that and pay Rs 1 lakh to all those affected," said Rashida Bee, president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karamchari Sangh.

The protest is led by five organisations.

"In these 30 years, we have fought at all levels - state, national and international. But even today we await justice. The government needs to fulfil the promises made to us," Balkrishna Namdeo of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, told IANS.

Union Carbide disaster took place on the intervening night of Dec 2-3, 1984

The protest site has victims with placards reading messages like "Revise the figures of curative petition now!", "Justice for Bhopal now!".

Asked what did the death of Warren Anderson, who headed the Union Carbide when the gas leak in the plant killed thousands, mean to the victims, Satinath Sarangi from the Bhopal Group for Information and Action, said: "His death will only affect his criminal liability alone as the principal accused."

"When it comes to compensation, essentially it is from the corporation (Union Carbide) which has so far been represented by its secretary - so we are now pressing for his extradition," Sarangi said at a press conference here.

One of the world's worst industrial disasters killed around 3,000 people instantly, and many more over the years. It left victims injured and maimed, with many suffering from lung cancer, kidney and liver failure, and eye disorders after coming into contact with toxic gas methyl isocyanate from the Carbide's plant in Bhopal.

IANS

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