Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 176

It was December 3, 1984, when the toxic Methyl Isocynate gas leaked from Union Carbide India Limited’s pesticide plant in Bhopal. It killed 15,134 people. It injured at least 5.7 lakh other people. The effect was so catastrophe that harmful effect passed to the next generation. And after 26 years, on June 7, 2010, all the eight accused were convicted by the court. All the accused were booked under Section 304A (causing death by negligence), Section 336 (endangering life), Section 337 (causing hurt), Section 338 (grievous hurt) of Indian Penal Code. Only Section 304A gives the punishment of two years jail and fine of Rs 1 lakh fine. This is the maximum punishment been given to the accused amongst other charges been framed against them. But all the accused were granted bail almost immediately after the verdict was ruled out. Their counsel had moved their bail applications with personal bonds of Rs 25,000 each. These 26 years has seen a lot of ups and downs in this case. But the main thing is that “Is this the verdict for which the families of victims carried on their fight for all these 26 years?” I don’t think that they got the real verdict. It’s just like a slap on the wrist of a person, when he murders other person. This gas tragedy has been termed as the world’s worst industrial disaster. But I think that the verdict is also like a fun has been made of those families who lost everything in that disaster. This has really provoked anger across the country.
There was great political interception also in this case. The CBI was told by the central government, not to extradict the CEO of Union Carbide, Warren Anderson. Warren Anderson was arrested on December 7, 1984. But he was released after three hours in detention. He was released allegedly by the orders from the then Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Arjun Singh. This indicated towards some secret connection between Indian politicians and the officials of Union Carbide. Now the main question is that why was the verdict delayed for 26 years? Why wasn’t the investigating agency allowed to work impartially? 26 years in not a small time period waiting for the right verdict. In my view, the correct verdict has not been given to the families of the victims who lost everything in that tragedy. The real culprit must be brought under the right legal way and the right verdict should be awarded. 

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