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Bhopal Gas Tragedy Survivors Stage Protest, Urge State Govt To Quote Correct Figures Before SC

Jointly led by four local organisations, the survivors urged the state government to correct the figures of deaths and extent of health damage caused by the disaster in the Curative Petition that is expected to be heard by the apex court soon.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:July 25, 2019, 8:13 PM IST
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Bhopal Gas Tragedy Survivors Stage Protest, Urge State Govt To Quote Correct Figures Before SC
Survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy stage a sit-in on Thursday. (News18)
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Bhopal: Survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy staged a day-long sit-in on Thursday demanding that the state government stops misleading the Supreme Court in the matter of additional compensation by downplaying the damage caused by the disaster.

In what is termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster, over 15,000 people were killed after methyl isocyanate leaked on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) in the city. More than five lakh people were affected due to the toxic leak.

Jointly led by four local organisations, the survivors urged the state government to correct the figures of deaths and extent of health damage caused by the disaster in the Curative Petition that is expected to be heard by the apex court soon.

Speaking at the protest, Rashida Bee, president of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karmchari Sangh, said “In March 2011, the state government had told the Supreme Court that 15,248 people in Bhopal died as a result of the disaster and yet, it has taken no steps to correct the misleading figure of 5,295 that it has presented in the Curative Petition for additional compensation.”

Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said that while records of government hospitals meant for survivors of the gas disaster show that well over 80% of the survivors continue to be sick even after decades, the state government maintains in the petition that 93% of the survivors were fine after a day’s hospitalisation.“This when all scientific literature, including Union Carbide’s, says Methyl Isocyanate causes residual injuries despite prompt treatment.” she said.

The state government’s attempt to mislead the Supreme Court is so blatant that even an ordinary person can detect the lies, one of the protestors said. “How can the figure of deaths caused by the disaster be 5,295 when the government provides pension to 5,000 women acknowledged to have been widowed by the gas disaster,” she said.

The protestors held placards demanding that Minister of Bhopal Gas Tragedy Relief and Rehabilitation Arif Aqueel fulfill his pre-election promise of giving Rs 5 lakh as compensation to each of the victims.

The protestors also put up a banner with the minister’s promise to the organisations sent six days ahead of the elections.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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