Bhopal: Five women survivors representing different organisations associated with the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy on Monday announced to sit on indefinite hunger strike from November 19 at Delhi's Jantar Mantar venue seeking increased compensation and revision of toll figures.
The five women survivors will stop taking any food or water demanding additional compensation for all survivors of the disaster and correction in figures of death and extent of injury in the curative petition filed in the Supreme Court by the Central government, the organisation representatives said.
Various organisations fighting for the rights of survivors also want a correction in the death toll mentioned by Central government in its curative petition filed before Supreme Court.
The president of a trade union of women survivors, Rashida Bee, said the ex-gratia compensation of Rs one lakh was given to only 33,672 survivors among the 5,69,081 people exposed to Union Carbide's toxic gas.
"There is no scientific or legal basis to deny additional compensation to 93 per cent of the victims. Our protest at Jantar Mantar is for additional compensation of Rs one lakh for all gas victims," she said.
"The figures of death and extent of injury caused by Union Carbide in the curative petition are far lower than the findings of the Indian Council of Medical Research and other scientific agencies," she added.
The Madhya Pradesh Government confirmed 3,787 deaths on the night of December 2-3, 1984 when the disaster struck. However, unofficial estimates put the death toll above 10,000, the organisation said.
More than a half-million people were injured, with many dying from illnesses including lung cancer, kidney failure and liver disease.
In 1989, Union Carbide paid USD 470 million to the Indian Government to settle litigation stemming from the disaster.
President of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, Nawab Khan too accused the government of "downplaying the damage caused by Union Carbide even when it (government) is seeking additional compensation."
Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pensionbhogi Sangharsh Morcha chief Balkrishna Namdeo said, "the government is seeking only 1.2 billion dollars as additional compensation in the curative petition whereas it should be asking for at least 8.1 billion dollars from the American corporations."