Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Indian Protests Over Bhopal Disaster

The Bhopal gas-leak disaster in India remains perhaps the most devastating single-incident mass tort in terms of loss of human life.  As this article from the Associated Press shows, nearly 25 years later, the effects are still being felt.  Here's an excerpt from the article, Indian police detain 80 protesters from Bhopal, by Ashok Sharma:

Police detained 80 people who walked nearly 500 miles from the site of a catastrophic 1984 gas leak in central India to protest Monday outside the prime minister's residence, an organizer said.

The protesters, including 52 children, were calling for the site of the Bhopal gas leak to be cleaned up and for survivors to be compensated, said Rachna Dhingra, a spokeswoman for Bhopal Group for Information and Action.

Guards took the protesters to a nearby police station soon after they arrived outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official residence, Dhingra said. They were freed two hours later.

Police officer Jagat Singh said the protesters came without an appointment with the prime minister, and protests are not allowed around the official residence.

The leak from the Bhopal pesticide plant in 1984 killed at least 10,000 people and affected about 550,000 others. A subsidiary of U.S. chemical company Union Carbide ran the plant at the time.



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"Effects are still being felt" because the Indian government apparently hasn't fully disbursed the settlement proceeds that were paid nearly two decades ago. The settlement included a medical monitoring fund to be set up by the government.

Posted by: Ted | May 7, 2008 6:18:13 AM

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