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    Bhopal victims write to the US Ambassador

    The Ambassador of USA
    United States Embassy
    Shanti Path
    Chanakyapuri, New Delhi

    November 23, 2001

    Sub: Protection given by the government of USA to corporate terrorists wanted in India for crimes against humanity


    We the organizations of survivors of the December '84 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal wish to convey our indignation at the persistent support given by the United States government to individuals and agencies responsible for the worst industrial disaster in history.

    For his role in the disaster that has killed over 20,000 people and injured over half a million, Warren Anderson, former Chairman of Union Carbide Corporation and a citizen of your country, is charged with grave criminal offences. These include culpable homicide punishable by life imprisonment; causing grievous hurt punishable by 10 years to life imprisonment; causing hurt punishable by 3 years imprisonment and causing death and poisoning of animals, punishable by 5 years imprisonment. Representatives of Union Carbide Corporation, a US multinational and its Asian subsidiary Union Carbide Eastern have similar charges against them.

    There is substantial evidence that Anderson and the other foreign co-accused directed the cost cutting measures in the Bhopal plant leading to the closure of some of the most vital safety systems in the plant and drastic retrenchment of operators. Even a cursory comparison of the hazardous design and unsafe location of the Bhopal with its 'sister plant' in West Virginia demonstrates a policy of institutionalized racial discrimination.

    As per the records of the Bhopal District Court, Anderson and other co-accused are fugitives from justice for the last nine years. As long back as January 1992 the Bhopal Court has had proclamations published in the Washington Post requiring Anderson to present himself in court to answer to the criminal charges. The Interpol has been involved in delivering summons from the Bhopal Court. And yet Anderson who jumped bail, after his arrest in Bhopal on December 7, 1984, continues to dare the Indian judiciary and reside in USA at an undisclosed location.

    Meanwhile Union Carbide Corporation has merged itself with another American Corporation - The Dow Chemical Company. In its submissions to the Securities and Exchange Commission, USA, Union Carbide has deliberately omitted the mention of pending criminal liabilities of the Corporation. This fact brought by us before the SEC has met with indifference and deliberate silence. In approving the merger of the two corporations to create the second largest chemical behemoth in the world, this American regulatory body has not found it fit to verify the facts regarding pending criminal liabilities of the corporation.

    Today in Bhopal between 1,20,000 to 1,50,000 people continue to suffer from exposure-related chronic illnesses, of the lung, brain, heart, immune, hormonal, reproductive and other systems. The death toll continues to rise. There is substantial evidence of exposure induced congenital damages among tens of thousands of children born to gas exposed parents after the disaster.

    Union Carbide continues to withhold medical information on the disaster in Bhopal as "trade secrets". In the absence of information, there are still no treatment protocols for the many exposure-related illnesses leading to indiscriminate use of potentially toxic drugs for chronic illnesses. Also over 10,000 people living in the vicinity of the abandoned factory are drinking water laced with toxic chemicals that Union Carbide recklessly dumped during its routine operations. Presence of these chemicals in the breast milk of surrounding population has been documented. These chemicals are known to cause chromosomal aberrations, foetal damage, damage to kidneys, lung and liver and cancer.

    Meanwhile your government chose to award Union Carbide with an Environmental Quality award, the highest official recognition, we are told, for its clean-up efforts in New Jersey.

    The Dow Chemical company that is investing in several hazardous products and technologies in India blatantly follows a principle of 'double standards' in relation to safety and human health. Dursban, a household pesticide produced by Dow was withdrawn from residential and commercial purposes in the US in June 2000. This was done in the face of a mass of scientific evidence showing damage to the human [and particularly children] brain as a result of exposure to this chemical. Yet Dow has been engaged in aggressive promotion of Dursban in India.

    Mr. Ambassador, Anderson, Union Carbide and now Dow are guilty of murder on a mass scale, racial discrimination and torture which go on to make the crimes of Bhopal a crime against humanity. Through production, storage, transportation and distribution of chemical poisons in India and elsewhere these organizations are spreading toxic terror of horrible death and suffering and even extinction of the race. Given the current zeal of the US government against terrorism we expect you to take effective steps against the toxic terror of corporations. Starting from those against the American multinationals Union Carbide and Dow Chemical.

    Awaiting your prompt response and thanking you.
    Yours sincerely,

    Champa Devi Shukla, Secretary, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
    Balkrishna Namdeo, President, Gas Peedit Nirashrit Morcha, Bhopal

    A - 542, Housing Board Colony
    Aishbag, Bhopal
    Tel: 011 91 755-757619