Bhopal: In a sensational revelation in the Bhopal gas tragedy case, declassified CIA documents dated 1984 suggest that Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson was freed from police custody and allowed to flee to the US at the behest of the central government led by Rajiv Gandhi.
Notably, during the tragedy the state also had a Congress government with Arjun Singh as the chief minister.
The CIA papers, accessed by a news channel, cite the Assembly elections which were scheduled to be held a few weeks after the gas leak as the reason behind government’s attempt to deflect blame from itself to Union Carbide.
As per the report, the Rajiv Gandhi led government at the Centre sensed public outrage over the gas tragedy, and feared that it would not only cost them the state elections but also lead to foreign investors being not interested in setting shop in the country.
Thus they blame was put on the UCIL (Union Carbide India Ltd.) and demanded compensation from the company.
Two days back, ex-District collector Moti Singh had revealed sparkling information in the Bhopal gas tragedy. The ex official said that he has asked to let off Warren Anderson, prime accused and chairman of Union Carbide.
Speaking to a TV channel Moti said that the then Madhya Pradesh chief secretary had asked him to let off Warren Anderson. He also asked to arrange a special aircraft to take warren to Delhi from where he left the country and never returned back.
‘US pressure got Anderson a safe passage’
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh yesterday defended Arjun Singh over the safe passage given to Warren Anderson –CEO of Union Carbide at the time of Bhopal gas tragedy - saying that the state government was not responsible for it, and it appears to have been done under US pressure.
“The state government hardly had any role to play in this case. The case was being investigated by the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation); the compensation was decided by the judiciary. Warren Anderson going away could have been under American pressure,” he told a news channel.
Singh, a Congress general secretary, also pointed out that all decisions regarding the Bhopal gas leak were taken by the central government and that the state government was only following its orders.
“There was a Cabinet Committee in the government of India which took all decisions regarding this case. The only task the government of Madhya Pradesh was to get the decisions implemented,” he said.
Twenty six years after the world`s worst industrial disaster killed over thousands of people, a Bhopal court on Monday convicted former Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub Mahindra and seven others in the Bhopal gas tragedy case and awarded them a maximum of two years imprisonment.
However, 89-year-old Warren Anderson, the then chairman of Union Carbide Corporation of USA, who lives in the United States, appeared to have gone scot-free as he is still an absconder and did not subject himself to the trial.