With over 1 lakh signatures, survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy have successfully petitioned the White House to warrant a response in the matter. The online petition, under ‘We the People’ platform that was announced by the Obama administration in 2011, was created on May 14, and had received over 1.2 lakh signatures — nearly 85,000 from Bhopal alone — by Tuesday.
The minimum age for the signatories to the petition is 13, and some hail from US, UK and other parts of India. Hollywood actor Martin Sheen, who played former chairman of UCC’s Warren Anderson in ‘Bhopal: A Prayer for Rain’, MIT professor Noam Chomsky, Canadian writer Margaret Atwood, Greenpeace, Amnesty and students of different US universities have signed it. The petition is titled: “Uphold international law! Stop shielding Dow Chemical from Accountability for Corporate Crimes in Bhopal, India”.
“We the People’’ allows people to create and sign petitions on a range of issues with a rider that if it gathers enough (one lakh) online signatures it will be reviewed by policy experts and the petitioners will get an official response. As of now, the petition has been listed on the White House website at the fourth position.
The petition created on Bhopal disaster argues that the Department of Justice (DoJ) has not summoned Dow Chemical to explain the whereabouts of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). UCC was the owner of the factory in 1984 which Dow Chemical bought in 2001. The next date of hearing is on July 13.
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