2010-11-06 13:24:48

Activists hopeful for Bhopal victims

(November 06, 2010) Church leaders in India have supported Amnesty International’s call to US President Barack Obama to ensure justice for Bhopal gas victims. Obama has arrived in India for a four day visit stating on the 6th of November. Amnesty International wants Obama to take up with the Indian government the Bhopal gas disaster as its victims continue to demand justice for more than 25 years. “It is very sad to see the fate of the gas tragedy people because injustice was done to them,” Father Anand Muttungal, a Catholic priest based in Bhopal where the 1984 tragedy occurred. Some 40 tons of poisonous methyl isocyanate leaked out of the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, capital of Madhya Pradesh state, and killed 5,295 people immediately and some 15,000 others in a few months. It also disabled some 560,000 people. “Very little compensation was given to the Bhopal people as compared to victims of similar calamities in other countries,” pointed out Father Muttungal, spokesperson of the Catholic Church in Madhya Pradesh state. The priest says the Amnesty’s initiative would bear fruit if Obama hear out the Bhopal victims. Some victims plan to demonstrate in New Delhi when the president visits the Indian capital. Father Charles Irudayam, secretary of the Indian bishops’ Commission for Justice, Peace and Development, says the world human rights body’s initiative will help bring “total justice” to the Bhopal victims. Amnesty International has some 2.8 million supporters in more than 150 countries.

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