Amnesty to Highlight Bhopal Gas Victims’ Plight to Obama

Published: 20th December 2014 06:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th December 2014 06:05 AM   |  A+A-

CHENNAI: Amnesty International is planning to make use of US President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi next month for Republic Day celebrations to find a solution to the woes of the victims of Bhopal gas tragedy.

In an informal chat with Express, T Kumar, International Advocacy Director, Amnesty International, who is on a visit to Chennai, said the suffering of the victims and their children continued even after 30 years, and  that Union Carbide had not cleaned the area till date.

“During their meeting in New Delhi, Prime Minister Modi and US President Obama arrive at a solution and issue a joint statement on this issue,” said Kumar, who has served as a human rights monitor in many Asian countries as well as in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Guatemala and South Africa.

“It will be the best opportunity for both India and US to discuss the issue and render justice to the affected people, as very rarely top leaders of countries meet in person,” he added.

Kumar further said that Union Carbide would not have acted in this manner had a similar disaster happened in the US, nor would it have been allowed to. “It is a question of behaviour involving the welfare of the local people and this issue should be settled at least now,” he added.

Kumar said Amnesty International was planning to take two survivors of the Bhopal tragedy to the US in the second week of January ahead of Obama’s departure to India to highlight the importance of the responsibility of the US government in the Bhopal gas tragedy. 

Amnesty International would arrange a meeting with the State Department officials of US and the Congress as well. Of the two, one is a victim who had suffered the most and the other a medical doctor who gave treatment to the victims at the time of the tragedy Therefore, views from both angles could be presented to the US authorities.

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