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Bhopal disaster victims block railway tracks

Written By Krishna on Saturday, December 03, 2011 | 10:17 AM

Government of India continues to be under tremendous influence of Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), owned by Dow Chemicals Company what else can explain the filing of affidavit by UCC in the Supreme Court on 18th November, the day Manmohan Singh met Barack Obama in Bali, Indonesia.

Hundreds of survivors marched from Yadgar Shahjahani Park to Nilam Park and handed over a memorandum to sub-divisional magistrate, Bhopal on December 3rd to mark the 27th anniversary of the industrial disaster.

On the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, the leakage of tonnes of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas from the Union Carbide's pesticide plant killed many thousand people. Government records showed 5,295 deaths, 4,902 with permanent disability, 35,455 with temporary disability and 527,894 with minor injuries. This figure of deaths and injury is underestimated.

At least half a dozen people were injured in stone-pelting by disaster survivors who blockaded rail tracks and police baton charge to disperse them. The protesters called off their stir after meeting Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister, Madhya Pradesh.

The protesters were agitating against the government's allegedly false figures on deaths and injuries caused to people in the 1984 gas leak disaster when police evicted them, leading to clashes.

The chief minister agreed to all the demands of the survivors and wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, supporting the survivors demands, officials said.

Due to the blockade, several trains, including the Hyderabad-Nizamuddin Southern Express, the Dadar Express and the Bhopal-Bina passenger train, were halted at Bhopal and Vidisha railway stations.

Activists claimed more than 15,000 people protested against the the false figures that the government had presented in a petition pending before the Supreme Court.

Eight women protesters continued to be under detention for participating the rail blockade. Ten people were admitted to hospital after sustaining injuries during police cane charge, said a protester. "Some anti-social elements got mixed with the agitators and they pelted stones at policemen. We lathi-charged them and fired in air too to disperse them," Bhopal District Collector Nikunj Srivastava told reporters.

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