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Activists for CBI probe into UCC`s alleged duel safety norms

Ahead of tomorrow`s GoM meeting on Bhopal gas tragedy issue, activists demanded steps by the government to facilitate a CBI probe into safety arrangements.



New Delhi: Ahead of tomorrow`s GoM
meeting on Bhopal gas tragedy issue, activists demanded steps
by the government to facilitate a CBI probe into safety
arrangements at the Union Carbide`s plant in the US to compare
them with those at its Bhopal facility.

The activists today presented a memorandum to Union
Minister of Law and Justice Veerappa Moily, who is part of the
Group of Ministers that will discuss all areas of concern in
the Bhopal gas tragedy case.

They pressed for, among other things, the CBI
investigation which they claimed would expose the duel safety
standards adopted by the company and help firm up the
culpability of Union Carbide Corporation in the tragedy.

The Memorandum urged the government to "execute the
Letter Rogatory to the US Government that was issued by the
Chief Judicial Magistrate of Bhopal in 1988 without further
delay".

The said letter of request had sought permission for
CBI to carry out investigations at the then UCC`s West
Virginia plant and collect relevant documents "to verify
whether or not UCC had adopted duel saftey standards while
installing safety systems in the MIC unit at Bhopal".

"Today the US government has said they would look into
the issue of (Warren) Anderson`s extradition provided there is
enough evidence against him," said D Raghunandan, Secretary,
Delhi Science Forum, one of the groups active in Bhopal.

He said while the recent verdict was against the Union
Carbide India Limited officials, a parallel case against UCC
is still pending in court and Anderson`s culpability can be
established only if his company UCC is nailed.

"It is essential for the GoM to look into how and why
the prosecutors have not proceeded in the case," he said,
demanding the Letter Rogatory be executed to firm up evidence.

"The diagrams and manuals of the plant show that
safety standards in West Virginia and Bhopal plant were not
similar and there were wide differences," he claimed.

Raghunandan said he feared the GoM would merely take
damage-containing measures to pacify anger and not take any
concrete measures.

He likened the US` suggestion on proof against
Anderson to Pakistan`s repeated contentions that it did not
have enough evidence to proceed against the accused in the
Mumbai attack case.

The nine-member GoM, which was reconstituted amid a
raging controversy over the quantum of punishment given to
those accused in the case, is meeting tomorrow.

N D Jayaprakash of the Bhopal Gas Peedith Sangharsh
Sahayog Samiti said the activists had expressed their desire
to meet the GoM members and Moily had asked them to him to
meet him again tomorrow.

"Once the Government ensures that CBI conducts a
comparative study of the two plants of UCC, there would be
enough evidence to nail the accused," he said.

PTI

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