New Delhi: Victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy have written to US President Barack Obama seeking extradition of former Union Carbide Corp CEO Warren Anderson to India.
Rejecting, the position taken by the White House that Bhopal gas tragedy was India’s “internal matter”, Abdul Jabbar, Convenor, Bhopal Gas Victims Women Forum, said that the victims want that Anderson, a US citizen who lives in New York, be brought to justice.
“We have also written a letter to US President Barack Obama appealing him to help us with this case,” Jabbar said.
Anderson, one of the main accused in the horrific tragedy that left thousands dead on the night of December 2-3 1984, had arrived in India on December 7, just four days after the tragedy.
He was booked by the police under the stringent Section 304(B) of the IPC but under mysterious circumstances was granted bail and flown out of Bhopal the same day by the then Madhya Pradesh government.
A Bhopal court, last week, had delivered its judgment in the gas leak case sparking outrage among the victims and across the country as the seven accused former Union Carbide officials were sentenced to only two years imprisonment, besides a fine of Rs 1 lakh each for negligence. All the convicts are now out on bail.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama is hardening his stance against British Petroleum for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and is squarely holding the British oil major responsible for the disaster.
He is also pushing BP to set up an USD 20 billion escrow account to pay damage claims by individuals and businesses hurt by the oil spill disaster.
This compared to the pittance amount of USD 470 million paid by the US company Union Carbide to the thousands killed in world’s worst industrial disaster.
Obama- if he wishes to – has a lot to answer.
For the record, the United States has said it would "carefully evaluate" any request from India to bring Warren Anderson to justice.
"...if the government of India makes such a request of us, we will carefully evaluate it," State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said.