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Sushma seeks compensation for Bhopal victims
NEW DELHI, AUG 11 (IANS):
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Published on 12 Aug. 2010 12:02 AM IST
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Urging higher compensation for the victims of the Bhopal gas disaster, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj Wednesday suggested that parliament pass a unanimous resolution to scrap the 1989 "out of court settlement" between the Indian government and Union Carbide.
"The house, cutting across party lines, should pass a resolution to scrap the 1989 agreement," Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha, attacking the then government for reaching an out of court settlement with the Union Carbide Corporation for Rs.615 crore.
Participating in a discussion on the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, she said a new agreement should be worked out to force the foreign company to pay higher compensation to the victims of the gas leak from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal.
"Who is responsible for this settlement? Why did those who had been at the helm of affairs agree to such a settlement," she asked without naming Rajiv Gandhi, who was the prime minister at that time.
She asked the government to be a party in a case filed by the gas tragedy victims in the US against the company.
She cited a case filed by the US against the BP petroleum company for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that claimed the lives of at least 13 US citizens.
"In the Gulf of Mexico, there was an oil leak and the US filed a suit claiming Rs.90,000 crore from BP for environmental damage," she said and asked the government to fight the case in America as the US was fighting for compensation from BP.
Attacking the government for giving money from its pocket to the Bhopal victims, she said the money should have been paid by Union Carbide, which was responsible for the gas tragedy.
Terming the Bhopal gas tragedy a case of "corporate manslaughter", she said even the third generation of the victims' children were affected by the tragedy.
Swaraj accused Union Carbide of taking Indian lives for granted and letting the incident happen. "This incident did not happen, it was man-made because of ignorance," she said.
Swaraj also asked the government to send the hazardous waste lying at the defunct Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal to the US as better incinerators were available there.

 
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