`Have renewed Anderson’s extradition demand`
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Last Updated: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 20:24
  
Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: With more embarrassing details emerging from the past, making the Bhopal gas tragedy case murkier and pointers clearly indicating the laxity on behalf of the government in nabbing the main culprit, the Ex Union Carbide Chief Warren Anderson, the Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday announced that it would make fresh extradition request with the US to bring back Anderson.

India last sought Anderson's extradition in 2007 but the US declined, saying it did not meet required parameters, informed MEA officials. They also said that in 2008 US Ambassador Ronen Sen had written to the CBI seeking details of the case, but things could not proceed due to America’s apathy.

Meanwhile, the Central government today reconstituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) to go into a range of issues including the relief and rehabilitation of victims and their families.

Madhya Pradesh government today sought to step into the picture saying it would appeal against the Bhopal court verdict seeking enhancement of the punishment to the convicts.

On top of a former CBI official's charge on Anderson's extradition, the then District Magistrate of Bhopal came out with his version of how he was asked to ensure bail for the carbide official hours after his arrest.

"They (Anderson and others) came to Bhopal from Bombay by service flight. They were taken into police custody at the airport and taken to the Union Carbide guest house where they were told that they were under arrest and they were lodged in three separate rooms and the formality of arrest was completed," former DM Moti Singh told reporters in Bhopal.

Then, he said, around 2 P.M. (Dec 7, 1984), the Chief Secretary called the SP and the DM to his office and told them to release Anderson and put him in the same plane waiting in the airport to go to Delhi.

"Accordingly, we went to the place where he was lodged. We observed the formalities of granting him bail. A Carbide employee stood surety and thereafter he was released on bail, taken to the airport and put on a plane to New Delhi," Singh said.

In Hyderabad, former CBI Director K Vijayarama Rao today rejected claims of a former joint direct B R Lall the agency was asked not not to pursue Anderson's extradition from the US.

"The Government of India as well as the CBI did everything they could to extradite Anderson from the US. But, the US refused to allow it," Rao told reporters. "Their (USA) claim was that the Union Carbide factory was only a holding and that this man (Anderson) cannot be held responsible as he is not directly involved in the running of the factory. We can, however, hold him morally responsible (for the Bhopal gas tragedy)," the former CBI Director said.

Lall, former Joint Director who was in-charge of the probe, had yesterday said that he was asked by the Ministry of External Affairs officials not to follow extradition of Anderson when the gas leak took place 26 years ago.

Make every effort to extradite Anderson: Cong to govt

Congress today said that the UPA government should make every effort to extradite Warren Anderson, the Chairman and CEO of Union Carbide when the Bhopal gas tragedy took place.

"Congress is of the firm opinion that the extradition process should be completed and he (Anderson) should be brought back. We hope government will take it to its logical conclusion," Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan told reporters here.

She said the Congress wanted every step to be taken to ensure that the perpetrators of the world's worst industrial disaster stand trial and people who were wronged receive justice.

Natarajan sidestepped several questions regarding charges against the then Congress government at the Centre and in Madhya Pradesh for granting safe passage to Anderson.

There have been successive governments at the Centre and in the state and these questions need to be asked of them as well, the Congress spokesperson said.

Days after the gas leak, Anderson was arrested and then released on bail by the Madhya Pradesh Police on December 7, 1984.

Anderson served as Union Carbide CEO till 1986, when he retired.


First Published: Wednesday, June 09, 2010, 20:24


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