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BJP says, govt involved in Anderson’s escape
New Delhi, Jun 16 (IANS/PTI):
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Published on 17 Jun. 2010 12:27 AM IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday alleged there was “high level government involvement” in helping then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson leave the country after the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
“It is too well known from the beginning, there has been foul play. It (Bhopal gas tragedy) is a non-bailable offence, yet not treated that way. The then chief minister, prime minister are all accountable. There was high level government involvement to let him out of the country,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told IANS. Congress leader Arjun Singh was chief minister of Madhya Pradesh and Rajiv Gandhi the prime minister in 1984.
Prasad’s comments came a day after IANS reported that Anderson was promised safe passage by the Indian government even before visiting India following the Bhopal gas tragedy.
A former US diplomat, who was the deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in New Delhi, told IANS that Anderson came to India only after getting an assurance of “safe passage” from the Indian government. Anderson, 89, is now retired and lives in the US.
On the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, lethal gas leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant, killing over 3,000 people instantly and many more over the years. There has been outrage in India over a court handing out a prison sentence of two years to seven accused after all these years.
Mob could have murdered Anderson
Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson could have been murdered by an angry mob in the surcharged atmosphere in Bhopal after the 1984 gas leak, says an internal document prepared to counter the opposition campaign that Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh and the Centre had helped him leave the country.
“The atmosphere close to the disaster in December 1984 in Bhopal was charged and violent because of so many deaths. In such an atmosphere, if Anderson would have remained in Bhopal, he would have been murdered by the mob and serious law and order problem would have arisen,” said the document prepared by an AICC office-bearer.
“It was necessary in such a grave situation that Anderson leaves Bhopal, which was an administrative unavoidable compulsion to prevent further aggravation of the situation,” it said.
Maintaining that the FIR against Anderson was registered under section 304 A (causing death due to rash or negligent act), a bailable offence, the party said he was “rightly” given bail.
“There was no condition that he will not leave India nor any such condition could have been imposed as it was a bailable section, as per section 436 CrPC, as such his movement were not restricted whether within India or outside India,” said thee document prepapred by K C Mittal, Secretary, Legal Aid and Human Rights Department of the AICC.
Arguing that it was the duty of the state to protect the life of every citizen including a criminal, the document referred to the Government incurring expenses on providing legal aid to Mumbai attack accused Ajmal Kasab.
“How much money, the state has spent to save and protect Kasab, even though in the public eyes, he has killed so many people,” it said.
The party said since Anderson had given an undertaking to appear in the court as and when required, he was bound to present himself in the court, whether in India or abroad.
“As far as bringing back Anderson is concerned, it was the responsibility of the court and CBI to take steps as per law....as regarding the charge under section 304 part II, since the Supreme Court judgement is final, the only available course with CBI was to file a supplementary chargesheet after further investigation, which they have not done,” Mittal said.
He said that the presence of Anderson could still be secured by enforcement of law.

 
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