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Madhya Pradesh Assembly adjourned over Anderson's extradition issue

By Nairita Das

Bhopal, July 19 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs forced the adjournment of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday by staging a demonstration, and accusing the Congress party of aiding former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson flee back to the USA after the December 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

"Six and half crores commoners of Madhya Pradesh want to know that how Warren Anderson escaped from India? When the charges against Warren Anderson were dropped? Why Congress party leaders are quiet? Why Arjun Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are quiet?" asked BJP MLA Vishwas Sarang.

"If Rajiv Gandhi had done something wrong then, commoners have all the rights to know about it. Raising these issues in the assembly, we have requested the Speaker that on this issue there should a discussion," he added.he BJP MLAs expressing their solidarity with the victims demanded the early arrest and extradition of the main accused Warren Anderson.

"Gas leak tragedy in which over fifteen thousand people died, how come the accused got bail and government did not have any idea about it. It is really a matter of concern and commoners have rights to know about it," said BJP MLA Girija Shankar Sharma.

The Congress party, however, termed the demonstration as non-democratic since it was raised during the zero hour, primarily meant for proposals or questions of immense importance.

"BJP party members adjourned the State assembly during zero hour session, though zero hour is meant for opposition to lodge their objections. This is non-democratic functioning by the BJP," said Congress MLA Rakesh Singh Chaudhary.

"By dint of your majority, you are not welcoming the opposition and rocking the functioning of house and not listening to the opposition. This is the fascist way of functioning," he added.

The Madhya Pradesh Assembly was on Monday informed that no record was found in Bhopal's Hanumanganj police station with regard to the bail given to Warren Anderson and two others soon after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.

The Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to examine all aspects of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, seeking Anderson's extradition apart from measures to clean up the disaster site, had submitted the report to Prime Minister Dr 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. (ANI)

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