India    »   Bhopal Gas Tragedy
BJP attacks Congress for promising safe passage to Anderson
NDTV Correspondent
Thursday, June 17, 2010, (New Delhi )
Arjun-Anderson-1984-216x250_arjn.jpg"Why is Arjun Singh silent?" asked the BJP on Thursday as it slammed the Congress over Warren Anderson's exit from India after the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984.

Anderson was the CEO of Union Carbide Corporation when a gas leak at its Bhopal plant poisoned the city on the night of December 3 that year.

The BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad made twin points in the party's attack:  it is publicly documented that the Indian government had guaranteed Anderson that no action would be taken against him when he arrived in India to assess the damage; and that Rajiv Gandhi, who was the Prime Minister, cannot be excused from the decisions and acts that saw Anderson leaving India, never to return.

Anderson arrived in Bhopal on December 7.  Along with other executives of Carbide, he was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.  He was arrested, then granted bail, and flown out of Bhopal on the chief minister's official plane.

Singh has not commented on these remarks.  The Congress has adamantly held that the exit route provided to Anderson was decided and orchestrated by Singh's government and not the Centre.

However, in an interview to NDTV, Gordon Streeb, who was at the time a senior US diplomat in Delhi, claims that Anderson had been promised safe passage by India's Foreign Secretary, and that when Anderson was placed under house arrest, the Ministry of External Affairs intervened to have him released, and to fly him back to Delhi.
At the BJP's press briefing on Thursday, Prasad said that even as Anderson arrived in India, US papers carried a statement by Union Carbide in which the company spoke of the Indian government's assurances to Anderson.  Prasad said this proved "a conspiracy" by the Congress to help Anderson.

Earlier this week, the Congress refuted charges that it had offered any guarantees to Anderson.

Prasad also referred to statements made on camera by Anderson and Arjun Singh in 1984, which were aired by NDTV on Wednesday.   Anderson tells a reporter, "House arrest, no arrest...bail no bail...I am free to go home. There is a law of the United States. India...bye bye. Thank you. Take care." The BJP slammed Anderson for his "arrogance" and blamed Singh for his "submissive" comment - standing outside the Carbide plant, days after the disaster, Singh says, about Anderson's visit, ""There was no intention to prosecute anyone or harass anyone. Therefore he was granted bail and he agreed to be present in court if charges are made."

Anderson has not been tried in India since the 1984 tragedy. He has ignored a series of court summons.  America has also rejected extradition requests for him.

Last week, a Bhopal court sentenced seven Indian executives to two years in prison for the tragedy.  They have been granted bail.

The verdict - and Anderson's exclusion from any legal process in 25 years-  has led to public outrage.
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Posted by M.Murli on Tuesday, June 22, 2010
This new found urge to extradite Anderson and get Dow to pay for the disaster is a sham on the part of the Central Govt.Disaster happened in 1984. In 1989 Govt. had an out of court settlement with Union Carbide absolving it of all further liabilities and in 1999 Dow chemicals purchased Union Carbide whose local Indian unit which held 51% stake is responsible for the gas leak.Dow never owned, operated or inherited the liabilities of Union Carbide which the Govt. knows very well then on what basis is the Central Govt. so sure that their demands are going to be meekly accepted by US or can win the case in US courts. They know very well that it is not only impossible but also know that the case can drag for a long time during which period they can easily persuade the affected parties to accept the measly compensation as a compromise and give closure to the case.
Posted by Sriram on Monday, June 21, 2010
The Bhopal Victims are our citizens, Indian and State Govt. should first ensure relief and compensation, then later start the Blame Game !
Posted by babu on Monday, June 21, 2010
If the Hon'ble Prime Minister is ready to give his consent for payment of Rs.10,00,000/- to the victims/their families, then please
add interest (based on bank's rate prevailed during this period) for the last 25 years on Rs.10,00,000/- and give the total amount to the victims. Since, the incidents occurred in 1984, compensation should have been given immediately thereafter. When there is a delay from Government's side, Government has to give interest for the same.
Posted by samar das, UK on Saturday, June 19, 2010
President OBAMA and US govt. must pay for Union Carbide's callous disregard to the dead and living victims plus cleaning up costs and refurbishements for Bhopal immediately.
Until and unless Corporate America and its Govt do those, they have no Moral ground to criticize BP for mexico gulf disaster
Posted by Arti Agarwal on Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Justice must me given to the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy as soon as possible because a delayed justice is equivalent to injustice.
Posted by Karavadi Raghava Rao on Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Justice is over delayed and justice is buried.The Main Culprit escaped from the country itself with the help of the Government Bosses of that day.Definitely money played the biggest role in this horrible human tragedy.Criminal Law should be changed and severe punishments should be prescribed for offenses of this Nature.Even if USA extradites 90 year old Anderson the case will prolong for at least for five years during which time he may---?
Posted by Latu on Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Why don't all the politicians who are feeling so sad for the Bhopal victims, contribute to a welfare fund for the victims? This fund can give them all the medical-legal help they need over a period of time Anyway, our politicians have amassed a lot of wealth which is going to last several of their generations and no way they can carry it with them when the time comes. They can put it to some good use and earn some goodwill.
Posted by raam on Tuesday, June 15, 2010
is inaction by mp govt in providing clean water unavoidable what are legal limitation if any
Posted by Babu on Monday, June 14, 2010
The person/s responsible for this tragedy alongwith the person/s allowing them to do so and permit them to leave the country should have been given illustrative punishment without any further delay. Also, enough compensation should be given to victims/their families immediately. This type of justice is nothing but an eye-wash. This is nothing but a delaying tactics being followed by all the persons invloved in it and to get political gain from it. Last but not the least, India Government should ask USA to extend their all possible help to recover the amount of compensation from USA Company only.

Waiting for your comments.
Posted by Mallemala RM Reddy on Monday, June 14, 2010
The Bhopal gas tragedy happen in 1984, from that day to to-day many PM's with their governence no body not bother about commen people.From Mr.RajeevGandhi to Mr.Manmohna singh including Mr.Vajpai nothing done to the Bhopal public, it is our sad and reducles democracy to our poor public. With out knowledge of the than PM Mr Rajeev Mr. Arjunsngh helped to the culprits Anderson, it is un belivable
The total issue to be accept by Congress party at least now.