For 25 long years, Bhopal gas victims have sought Warren Anderson's extradition from the US.
Over the years, US ambassadors and officials and Indian politicians visiting Bhopal have been repeatedly asked why Anderson has not been brought back to face trial for the toxic gas leak of December 1984. Over those years, many effigies have been burnt of the man Bhopal says must pay for the tragedy that ravaged the city.
Anderson, now almost 90 years old, was the Chairman and CEO of Union Carbide when the lethal methyl isocynate leaked from a pesticide plant of the company's Indian subsidiary on the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984. Thousands were killed, many more shall live bearing the scars and some have passed on the effects of the gas to the next generation.
Victims say that Anderson, as the head of the company, knew that the plant stocked toxic gas within city limits and that it could cause huge damage in case of an accident. And that the security precautions were inadequate. Anderson is believed to have taken key decisions, including a cost-cutting measure that compromised safety at the gas plant.
In the days after the gas leak, Anderson was arrested and then released on bail by the Madhya Pradesh Police on December 7, 1984. He left India immediately after signing a bond of 25,000 rupees and has refused to return ever since. He has never appeared in court or even been in India to explain what happened. Union Carbide paid compensation that victims have said was grossly inadequate.
There has been huge hue and cry over the fact that Anderson was allowed to quietly leave the country even as Bhopal reeled under tragedy.
The gas tragedy case was handed to the CBI a few days after the leak and it filed its charge-sheet against 12 accused, including Anderson, in a Bhopal court on December 1, 1987.
In 1992, Anderson was declared a fugitive by the Bhopal court for failing to appear for hearings in a case of culpable homicide. Once he was declared absconding, the cases were separated and so Warren Anderson was not a part of the case in which eight Indians then employed by Union Carbide have been convicted today.
In July 2009, an arrest warrant was issued for him after an appeal by a victims' group.
The Indian government has come in for much criticism over the way it handled the Anderson case. It took the government almost 19 years to move a formal request for his extradition. It did so in May 2003.
In June 2004, however, the US rejected India's request for the extradition of Anderson saying the request did not "meet requirements of certain provisions" of the bilateral extradition treaty.
Warren Anderson served as Union Carbide CEO till 1986, when he retired. He lives a life of luxury in New York.