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Bhopal gas case: Travesty of justice

The editorial “Too little too late” (The Tribune, June 8) is right in its assertion that the verdict given by a Bhopal court in the Union Carbide case is disappointing. The court took 26 years to try the accused. The industrial disaster, which happened in December 1984, killed thousands of people and injured more than five lakh persons. Millions were left sick and many developed harmful disorders, which got passed on to the next generation. How can the hapless victims forget the tragedy that devastated their lives? Even we in Punjab have tears in our eyes when we think of the victims.

The “Welfare State” did not perform its duty in the desired manner. Why did it allow Warren Anderson, then Chairman of Union Carbide, to leave India? Why did the Centre agree to reduce its compensation demand for $3.3 billion from Union Carbide to $470 million? The matter should be probed if the CBI failed to convince the court on the quantum of punishment. Why did the Centre fail to bring Anderson to justice? So many other questions also torment the mind.

It is shameful to know that residents of some affected areas have still no access to safe drinking water as the ground water has been totally polluted by the toxic waste. Immediately remove the toxic waste if it is still lying on the premises of the factory.

Sincere efforts should be made to rehabilitate the victims in all respects. “Disability cases” pending before the courts should be settled expeditiously. The unfortunate victims should not feel forced to move the higher court to get justice.



The Bhopal court verdict in the Union Carbide case is surely a mockery of justice. What a shame that the “world’s worst industrial disaster” has been equated with the violation of ordinary traffic rules? It is laughable that the punishment of just two years in jail has been awarded to the guilty, who have been let off on a bail of only Rs 25,000 each.

The judgement has sent shock waves across the nation. It is more shameful that the court had to take 26 long years to nail the culprits and then set them virtually scot-free! The CBI has certainly acted under political pressure in presenting a weak case. The main accused, Warren Anderson, the US-based Union Carbide Corporation’s former Chairman, has not been brought to justice. The editorial rightly asks as to why this person was granted bail from a Bhopal court soon after he was arrested on December 7, 1984, and flown to Delhi from where he managed to flee from India. In spite of the Interpol warrant against him, the government did nothing to get him arrested during these 26 years. Why?

The government needs to answer these questions to bring the truth out in the public. Those who helped Anderson escape should be identified and punished severely.

Certainly, the verdict is sad and disappointing. Major and swift reforms are needed in the Indian judicial system to make the judiciary more effective and impartial.

RK KAPOOR, Chandigarh


The Tribune editorial has rightly observed: “Had such a disaster happened in his parent country, the US, Anderson would predictably have had to face long incarceration.”

It is really shocking to learn that Anderson, charged with manslaughter, was flown to Delhi after his release on bail just six hours after his arrest by a state government plane.

It clearly indicates that the government of the day didn’t want to book the culprit for the most heinous and culpable offence of killing thousands of people and maiming lakhs.

It would be in the interest of justice that the Government of India secures the extradition of Anderson without further delay by mounting diplomatic pressure on the US and invoking the provisions of the extradition treaty the two countries have signed.

Lajpat Rai Garg, Panchkula

Check water leakage

It is observed that frequently water leaks from pipes and it is either not noticed promptly or it takes much longer to initiate adequate measures to stop it.

Drinking water is precious and essential for life. I suggest to develop a software by which whole pipelines can be monitored on the computer by the appropriate authorities for leakage. This will help get the leaking pipelines repaired quickly.

Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi

Mamata’s march

Subhrangshu Gupta’s write-up, “Rebel without a pause”, on mercurial leader Mamata Banerjee was informative as well as interesting (The Tribune, June 8). It goes to the credit of Mamata that she, single-handedly, has defeated the Left Front in its bastion. Mamata’s grip over the electorate is quite firm, and it does seem that she might as well capture the State Assembly after the elections, which are not far away.

The Left Front, too, has seen the writing on the wall, but it cannot do anything to stop Mamata’s march.

Arun Hastir, Babehali (Gurdaspur)



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