Skip to main content

US chemical giant DuPont, which merged with Dow, must take responsibility for Bhopal gas tragedy: Amnesty

Modi with Dow CEO
By Our Representative
The decision of Dow Chemicals, which took over $130 billion all-stock merger with US chemical giant DuPont last week, with the combined company to be named DowDuPont, has made top international NGO Amnesty to declare this doesn't absolve if of Bhopal gas tragedy in which 22,000 people died in 1984.
“DuPont must know that the unresolved human rights and liability issues around Bhopal, including the outstanding criminal charges against UCC, will not go away because of the merger. It must push its new partner to address its toxic legacy and assume responsibility for these issues that have plagued generations of victims and survivors”, it underlined.
The Amnesty statement came close on the heels of the release of a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shaking hands with Dow CEO Andrew N Leveris. Amnesty said, the US chemical giant “must respond to court summons” and “stop dodging the Indian justice system and ignoring survivors who have suffered from the toxic fallout of the disaster three decades now”. 
The photograph, which is said to be of September 2015, it has been alleged, was "released" by the Prime Minister’s Office.
In a statement, Aruna Chandrasekhar, Business and Human Rights Officer at top international NGO, Amnesty International India, said, without naming Modi, “We hope that the Indian and US governments have done their part to ensure that Dow complies with an official Indian court order.”
Amnesty said.
In 2001, Dow acquired Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), the US-based multinational that was majority owner of the company that operated the Bhopal pesticide plant at the time of the leak. However, Dow has failed to respond to calls for justice and reparations from the victims and survivors of the disaster, while continuing to distance itself from the actions of UCC.
“UCC itself has repeatedly ignored orders to appear before Indian courts to answer criminal charges of culpable homicide. The charges remain outstanding in India to this day. The chief judicial magistrate’s court has declared UCC an absconder from justice”, Amnesty said.
“Calls for accountability and justice have haunted Dow since its acquisition of UCC in 2001. Dow, UCC and other companies are still facing a US$1.7 billion claim in relation to the disaster, and that’s just one claim by the Indian government based on a conservative estimate of injuries and deaths,” Amnesty said.
In November 2014, after a hunger strike by women protestors, India’s Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers promised to revise the numbers of deaths and injuries for which the government is seeking compensation in a US$1.7 billion dollar claim against Dow, UCC and others, to bring the figures in line with scientific data, medical research and hospital records.
“However, local activist groups argue that no such corrective actions have taken place yet. Meanwhile, pollution from the abandoned Bhopal factory site that has contaminated the local water supply is yet to be remediated and continues to put the health of surrounding communities at risk”, Amnesty said.
“Prime Minister Modi’s Clean India campaign must include a push towards accountability for Bhopal and a clean-up of the factory site. The government’s recent policy directives towards increasing penalties for environmental violations are noteworthy, but will hold no weight until there is justice on the ground for the people of Bhopal,” it demanded.
Meanwhile, well-known activist Satinath Sarangi of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said, the release of Modi’s picture with Dow CEO was t “unacceptable”, as it has been released just nine days after Bhopal’s CJM issuing notice against Dow. He regretted, Modi, instead of asking the CEO to appear for hearing, was “found dining with him.”
He added, "Tomorrow we will see whether CBI helplessly watches Dow Chemical ignore court's order a third time or whether it musters the courage to take effective legal action against the criminal corporation."

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.