BHOPAL (Madhya Pradesh): The torching of effigy of Dow Chemical and other multi-national companies, offering prayers and paying tributes marked the 37th anniversary of Bhopal gas tragedy in the state capital on Friday. The Bhopal gas tragedy survivors' organisations condemned the state and central governments for denying justice and a life of dignity to the survivors.
They condemned Madhya Pradesh government for not constituting fast track court for cases related to gas victims and failing to generate employment.
A joint procession was taken out with tall effigy of Dow Chemical with photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan by Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information and Action, Children Against Dow Carbide.
However, police did not allow to torch photographs of PM Modi and CM Chouhan with Dow Chemical. The gas survivors torched effigy of Dow Chemical at Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) plant site.
Bhopal Group for Information and Actionís Rachna Dhingra said, 'There are no standard treatment protocols for chronic diseases of lungs, heart, kidneys and the endocrine, nervous and immune systems caused by Union Carbideís gases. Because the government has stopped all research on the health impact of the disaster, it is Union Carbide alone that has all the medical information and the corporation is still claiming them to be trade secrets.'
She accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of not holding Dow Chemical responsible for the worst industrial disaster, and instead preferring to ìdineî with the CEO of the US firm. PM's action of "pleading" with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris to invest more in India is "outrageous and disgusting" for citizens, she added.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sanghthan paid tribute at Yadgar-e-Shahjahani Park to those who died in Bhopal gas tragedy. Speaking on the occasion, MLA Arif Masood said there should be proper medical treatment for gas victims who are still moving from pillar to post for compensation. ìWe will continue our fight for justice to gas victims. State government should start closed units of stitching centres,î he added.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahyog Samiti convener Sadhna Karnik said, 'We have to involve children in this fight for justice as even after 37 years, government is not working to fulfil demands like compensation, medical treatment and employment are concerned.'
Centre of Indian Trade Unions general secretary Pramod Pradhan said, 'We have to continue struggle for the justice. We have won in case of farmer stir and government has to withdraw farm laws. Similarly, we want to intensify the fight for gas victims.' MP-CG Medical Representativesí Association also joined them showing solidarity for justice.
Bhopal Gas Peedit Sangharsh Sahyog Samiti put 12-point demands including merger of BMHRC with AIIMS, correction of figure in Supreme Court, Rs 50 lakh compensation, lifting ban on registration of deaths after 1991, rehabilitation of gas victims, starting research of ICMR, appointment of super specialist in BMHRC, opening Ayush Hospitals in gas affected areas, abolition of categories' system for compensation, starting widow pension, making life saving items available at Fair Price Shops, free education, free employment training to youths of gas victimsí families. United Nations Children's Fund teams organised medical check-up camp.