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Bhopal update - 05-11-11 Media #1

Released on 2012-02-27 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 391208
Date 2011-05-11 16:10:17
Scot, Tomm,

Global and Indian wire services have reported on the Indian Supreme Court
decision to dismiss the CBI petition for enhancing the criminal charges
for the Bhopal gas tragedy against the UCIL officials. It is reported that
the MP Sessions Court still has the option to reframe the charges.

The activists and gas NGOs are predictably upset, charging the Indian
government and CBI with denying justice for the victims and pledging to
renew their efforts.

Associated Press, Agence France Presse and Reuters all included mentions
of Dow's position on the Bhopal issue; initial reports from Indian wire
services did not mention Dow.

- Associated Press briefly reported the situation that resulted in
the curative petition, then the SC's decision to deny the CBI's request on
the grounds it "never gave a sufficient explanation for why it had waited
14 years to reinstate the stronger charges to gain longer sentences."
Rachna Dhingra was the only activist quoted, lamenting, "Once again the
Bhopal gas tragedy victims are being denied justice." The curative
petition for increased compensation from UCC is noted as being on the SC's

This report is trending through US and Canadian morning media with pickups
seen on US major media websites including WSJ, NYT, Washington Post and, although not prominently featured.

- AFP quoted the SC opinion that "the curative petition is based on
a plea that is wrong and fallacious." Gas NGO leader Balkrishna Namdeo is
cited along with Dhingra, relating the gas victims' "shock" over the
verdict and resolution to "express our anger across India." Dhingra said
the victims are now focused on the MP state court, where the "state
government and police have also filed petitions...asking for harsher

Canadian and some international pickups of this report appear to be

- Reuters issued a report, but there does not appear to be much
pickup, which has been the case with this source in the past several
months on Bhopal news.

The piece includes a quote from the SC opinion that "The materials
produced do not meet the requirement (for homicide)" and one from
Satinath Sarangi about "the message the Supreme Court is sending...that
[companies] can come, you can maim, you can kill and you can get away
with two years."

- PTI reported Additional Solicitor General Indira Jai Singh's
explanation on the Sessions Court's option to frame the more harsher
charges against the UCIL officials. The activists are calling for
day-to-day hearings in that court. This article included an expanded
response from Sarangi, who "alleged that the state organs, including
judiciary, were not keen on justice to Bhopal gas victims."

Several Indian major media sites posted the PTI article as the first
report on the SC opinion.

- IANS quoted activist leaders Abdul Jabbar and ND Jayaprakash, who
echoed the charges of justice denied and the gas victims being "ignored"
and "denied justice." Jayaprakash explained the victims hopes for the MP
government to "set up a special court and pursue the case on a priority
basis, possibly within the next six months the entire retrial must end."

Hindustan Times and other major media sites also posted this article in
various forms.

- India Blooms News Service quoted Rashida Bee, who announced a
"rally in evening to protest the verdict," claimed India "is a country
without human rights" and proclaimed a (somewhat dubious) comparison
between the recent killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces and that India
"could let go a US company that killed so many people in Bhopal."

This piece noted the renewed extradition effort for Warren Anderson.

- IANS reported the BJP responded to the SC decision as "a `telling
comment on the government's attitude'" toward the Bhopal gas victims and
that it "is not at all interested to punish the guilty." BJP spokesperson
Prakash Javadekar referred to Anderson being allowed to leave India in the
days after the gas accident.

Ann Sigsby

Senior Analyst

Allis Information Management


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