Anderson`s escape: PMO has no record of calls from US Govt

Last Updated: Friday, July 23, 2010 - 14:55

New Delhi: Amidst raging controversy over the escape of Bhopal Gas leak case accused Warren Anderson, the Prime Minister`s Office has said it has no records of phone
calls received from any US government official during the period of his visit to the country in the wake of the tragedy.

This was stated by the PMO in an RTI reply on the issue.

Information on the issue might have shed some light on the circumstances of arrival and controversial departure of Anderson after jumping the bail.

The RTI plea had five questions which included details of telephonic conversation of the PMO officials with their counterparts in different countries after the leak of poisonous gas from the Union Carbide`s India unit plant in Bhopal which killed over 15,000 people.

The applicant also sought to know if any calls were made or received by the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi from or to any representative of US government between December 6-8, 1984 - the period of Anderson`s visit to the country.

"The applicant sought information relating to phone calls made/received by the Prime Minister during specified days in December, 1984. The matter was referred to the office for inputs. The office has informed that PMO does not have the information sought by the applicant," Central Public Information Officer Sanjukta Ray said in her reply.

On the intervening night of December 2-3, 1984, poisonous gas Methyl Isocyanate (MIC) leaked from Union Carbide plant in Bhopal killing over 15,000 people.

Anderson visited the country nearly three days after the incident and was arrested by Madhya Pradesh Police. He was granted bail by a local court but managed to leave the country on December 7, 1984 after jumping the bail. He has remained
elusive since then.

"There has been collusion between the two governments from day one. We do not know if they really do not have the records or they are using the argument to camouflage the details. It is an open fact that he has escaped from Bhopal in a state government plane. He managed to escape from India as well," Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group of Information and Action, a group working for rights of leak victims, said.

She said the disclosure of this information could have helped in understanding the circumstances in which Anderson managed to flee.

A trial court in Bhopal recently sentenced the seven accused under Section 304 A, to a mere two years of imprisonment. There was no word about Anderson in the
judgement of the court.

PTI



First Published: Friday, July 23, 2010 - 14:55

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