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Bhopal gas leak: court orders ex-CEO’s arrest
Published on 31 Jul. 2009 11:14 PM IST
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A court in Bhopal has issued an arrest warrant for the former CEO of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson. Anderson was the then CEO of the company’s pesticide plant in Bhopal where an industrial accident led to a huge toxic gas leak on December 3, 1984, killing thousands. Anderson has been charged with manslaughter in the Bhopal gas tragedy. He has been absconding ever since the tragedy that killed over 3800 people and maimed many from the following generations. Many more died after the tragedy because of the illnesses brought caused by the toxic gas. Anderson had been arrested immediately after the tragedy which happened almost 25 years ago, but he jumped bail and was flown out of the country in a private jet. He has been avoiding arrest for all these years, since neither US nor Indian governments have reportedly shown much interest in the case. Anderson initially went underground but was recently found living in a luxury villa in suburban New York. The Bhopal court has given his address in its order and asked the Government to bring Anderson to India so that he can be tried. Victims fight on The fight for justice by survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy yielding no result, some of the affected took a long walk of 800 kilometers to meet the Prime Minister in Delhi on May 5, 2008. They were upset that they never got a fair hearing. The night of December 2 1984 has stretched into 25 years for these victims. Yasmeen, daughter of gas affected parents had told CNN-IBN, “There are children who when they smile, we do not know whether they are smiling or not who are not normal.” They survived the night of December 2/3 only to spend the rest of it in hospital beds, waiting rooms, or simply watching close ones waste away. CNN-IBN had reported in 2008 that a group of ministers on Bhopal was set up in 1991 to address the concerns of the victims. It was then headed by Union HRD Minister Arjun Singh and had Ram Vilas Paswan, Kamal Nath, Oscar Fernandes and Hans Lal Bhardwaj among its members. It is to this group that the survivors were appealing. They’re asking for an empowered commission on Bhopal and the need for legal action against Dow Chemicals. Nothing concrete seems to have come out of the fight for rights after a long drawn out battle spanning quarter of a century.

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