Late in the evening, thirty-two years back, the world’s worst industrial disaster rumbled in to life as highly toxic MIC gas began spewing from tank E610 on Union Carbide’s dilapidated pesticide factory in the heart of a populous central Indian city, Bhopal.
Within three days the trail of devastation saw as many as 8-10,000 having died in terrible agony. Some say tens of thousands more.
Tonight in Bhopal, survivors groups have come together to march in what has become a traditional torchlight rally at each anniversary. They cry for the dead and they protest for the living. They demand justice and thirty-two years is too long to be waiting.
Press release form the survivors’ organisations:
On the occasion of the 32nd Anniversary of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, hundreds of survivors marched with flaming torches to the memorial statue of the gas affected mother opposite the Union Carbide factory. They paid homage to those killed by the disaster at the end of the rally. Residents of the communities next to the Union Carbide factory where the ground water is contaminated by hazardous chemical waste were also part of the march.
Leaders of the five survivors’ organizations: Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogee Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information and Action and Children Against Dow / Carbide who organized the march demanded adequate compensation, clean up of environmental contamination and exemplary punishment of Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.
The organizations said that the current government at the centre has surpassed all previous governments in serving the interests of the criminal American corporations. “Dow Chemical’s Indian subsidiary Dow Agrosciences was discharged from the bribery case against them by the CBI last year. This was an open and shut case since Dow Chemical had already confessed to the Securities and Exchange Commission, USA and yet the CBI that works directly under the Prime Minister, let them walk away from the case.” said Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action.