Ph details lost, Anderson exit to remain mystery

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 21:30

New Delhi: The circumstances under which United Carbide chief Warren Anderson suddenly fled the country after he arrived in the aftermath of the Bhopal gas tragedy will continue to remain a mystery.

MTNL, which could have thrown some light, said it was unable to provide phone call details.
The state-owned telephone company expressed its inability to provide records of call details between the Prime Minister`s Office (PMO) and the US government during the days immediately after the tragedy on the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, saying such information prior to 1997 was "not available" with it.

Any information given on the issue might have thrown some light on the circumstances of the controversial departure of Anderson after the PMO said it has no records of phone calls received from any US government official during the period of Anderson`s visit -- December 6-7, 1984.

The Special Protection Group (SPG) also refused to give any information on the issue, saying they have been exempted from making any disclosure under the RTI Act.

Anderson reached Bhopal from the US nearly three days after the gas tragedy struck the city. Upon his arrival, he was arrested by local police and later granted bail by a local court.

But Anderson managed to flee the country on December 7 and remained evasive since then. He was allowed to use the aircraft of Madhya Pradesh government to come to Delhi from Bhopal from where he returned to the US.

MTNL has said Customer Support Management System (CSMS) was only installed on April 1, 1997, in the Central area, which covers the South Block office. Hence, call records prior to that are not available.

"As the CSMS system was introduced on April 1, 1997, in the Central Area, the CDR (Call Detail Records) of any telephone prior to April 1, 1997, are not available in the office," said MTNL`s Central Public Information Officer in reply to a RTI query made public on Tuesday.

The RTI applicant had sought to know from the PMO the details of calls made or received from US government officials in the aftermath of Bhopal gas tragedy during Anderson`s controversial visit to the country, three days after the tragedy which has claimed the lives of 15,000 people.

The PMO had forwarded the application to Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the SPG to provide the information, if there was any.


First Published: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 - 21:30

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