New Delhi: The MP government on Tuesday sacked Swaraj Puri – Bhopal’s Superintendent of Police in 1984 - as chief of Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) days after the media aired visuals showing him escorting Union Carbide’s CEO Warren Anderson to the airport, four days after the deadly gas tragedy.
The development was confirmed by the Madhya Pradesh government spokesman Dr Narottam Puri, who said, “Chief Minister Shivraj Singh has decided to remove him as the chief of NVDA in the light of reports that he facilitated the safe exit of Anderson shortly after the Bhopal gas tragedy.”
As per reports, Puri has been holding the post of NVDA chief for past one year. He enjoyed the status similar to a minister of state.
Clearly, the BJP government in the state appears to have sacked Puri to gain the moral high-ground at a time when the Congress party is under increasing pressure over the role played by its leaders in ensuring a safe exit for Anderson, despite an FIR standing against him.
Video footage showed that Puri along with Moti Singh, then Bhopal Collector, escorting Union Carbide CEO Anderson till the time he was in Bhopal. The tragedy had led to the death of thousands of innocents.
Puri’s removal comes close on the heels of a complaint filed against him and Moti Singh on the charge of facilitating the safe exit of Anderson from here.
A similar complaint has also been filed against the state’s then chief minister Arjun Singh, who is being blamed by the Congress party as the man who allowed Anderson to escape law.
Earlier, Seven Indian officials including then chief of Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) Keshub Mahindra were sentenced to two years imprisonment ‘for causing death due to negligence’.