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Punish Dow Chemicals: US legislators

Released on 2012-02-27 00:00 GMT

Email-ID 725029
Date 1970-01-01 01:00:00
Punish Dow Chemicals: US legislators
14 Jun 2008, 2225 hrs IST,IANS

NEW DELHI: Expressing solidarity with the Bhopal gas leak victims, 16 US House of Congress members led
by Padma Bhushan Frank Pallone Jr have urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring Dow Chemicals to

Their letter dated June 5 is strong in its criticism of the US-based Dow Chemical, which took over Union
Carbide, in whose plant the disaster took place on December 2-3, 1984.

"The conduct of American corporations outside the US is a long-standing concern of ours. In this case,
US corporations have refused to submit to the jurisdiction of foreign (Indian) courts. It is outrageous
that the executives of Union Carbide and its successor, Dow Chemical, have yet to be brought to
justice," the letter reads.

In the Bhopal gas leak holocaust, often called the world's worst industrial disaster, the Union Carbide
pesticide plant leaked over 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas, which killed at least 3,800 people
and affected many thousands.

The US legislators' letter is the latest in a tide of support that has flowed in from overseas,
including endorsements from British and Scottish MPs, Amnesty International, and more than 100 eminent
writers and artists.

The letter, a copy of which was given to the media by a group of survivors holding protests and an
indefinite hunger strike here, said: "We are writing to express our support for the people of Bhopal,
India, victims of the world's worst industrial disaster in 1984.

"The survivors marched 500 miles in February and March from Bhopal to New Delhi, where they have been
for over 60 days. We urge you to personally meet the survivor groups and address their long-standing
demands for justice and a life of dignity," said the letter addressed to the prime minister.

Nearly 100 people including survivors, victims' family members and activists supporting the cause are
protesting near Jantar Mantar in the heart of New Delhi. They say they won't stop the protest unless
Manmohan Singh meets them and solves their problems.
Besides Pallone Jr, the Congress members who have signed the letter include Patrick Kennedy, Barbara Lee
and Steve Rothman.

Nityanand Jayraman, an activist on protest, said that the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) has received
over 5,027 faxes urging him to meet the victims and listen to their demands.

While the PMO responded to their demands with a letter, organisations of gas leak survivors have found
the response unsatisfactory.