“Why were the accused in Bhopal Gas Tragedy let off? This is a case of corporate manslaughter,” said Sushma Swaraj,in the debate on the Bhopal disaster in Parliament.
“The government allowed this incident to happen,to save money and to make profit. They took Indian lives for granted and let this incident happen,” she added.
Earlier on August 5,Minister of State in the Prime Minister”s Office Prithviraj Chavan said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has recently sent additional evidence against former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson to the Ministry of External Affairs in connection with his extradition proceedings in the case.
The CBI had on August 2 filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court seeking the restoration of the stricter charge of ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder’ against the accused in the 1984 Bhopal Gas tragedy case.
The Group of Ministers (GoM) constituted to examine all aspects of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster,seeking Anderson”s extradition apart from measures to clean up the disaster site,had submitted the report to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on June 21.
The GoM had dealt with all issues — compensation,legal issues,including that of the extradition of Warren Anderson,the legal options available to the Government of India,and most importantly,remediation matters,and health related matters.
Union Carbide settled its liabilities to the Indian government in 1989 by paying 470 million dollars before being bought by another US company,Dow Chemical.
In the early hours of December 3,1984,around 40 metric tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked into the atmosphere and was carried by wind to surrounding slums.
The government says around 3,500 died in one of India’s most horrific industrial disasters. Rights activists,however,claim that 25,000 people have died so far.