Bhopal gas tragedy: White House refuses to act on online petition

Members of four organisations burnt an effigy of US president Barack Obama on Saturday and said they would protest outside US consulates in India.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Published: August 14, 2016 4:41 am

The White House has declined to intervene in an online petition, signed by more than 1.27 lakh people, most of them from Bhopal, asking the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) to serve a legal notice to Dow Chemicals in connection with the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

Arguing that it wants to “avoid the appearance of improper influence”, the White House declined to comment on the “specific request made in the petition” — a response that has angered survivors who were hopeful of a positive outcome, having successfully petitioned the US government two months ago.

Members of four organisations burnt an effigy of US president Barack Obama on Saturday and said they would protest outside US consulates in India. Activists said there was a documentary evidence of the US government having used undue influence to set up the plant in Bhopal and to protect its then chairman Warren Anderson from criminal proceedings.

The petition, titled ‘Uphold international law! Stop shielding Dow Chemical from accountability for corporate crimes in Bhopal, India’, was created on May 14 on the White House website.

The Obama administration has a ‘We the People’ platform to allow people to raise important issues, and promises to give an official response if the petition gets one lakh or more signatures.

The petition uploaded on the White House website argued that the DoJ did not summon Dow Chemical to explain the whereabouts of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), the main accused in the gas tragedy trial pending in Indian courts.

The UCC never showed up for trial and the four notices served by Indian courts through DoJ were never served on the
company.

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  1. C
    Chellam
    Aug 14, 2016 at 4:02 am
    It is surprising, no organisation has come forward so far to investigate whether the Bhopal tragedy was not a experiment in poison gas warfare of the US government.
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    1. L
      Londoner
      Aug 14, 2016 at 8:36 pm
      Why not we first investigate and identify the culprits (of course Rajive i was involved in in) who let the DOW chairman flee the country.lt;br/gt;Shouldn't this what be the first step in giving justice to Bhopal and the nation?lt;br/gt;If we ourselves don't punish the culprits who are living in our country lavishly, how can we expect other countries greedy politicians to bring us justice?lt;br/gt;Oh may be BJP politicians too are equally involved in this incident and the following funding which have been eaten away by the politicians and bureaucrats?
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