Bhopal victims urge Indian PM to protest Dow in Olympics

Bhopal, Aug 11 (IBNS) Five Bhopal gas leak survivors’ organisations have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to register his protest with the UK Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) with regard to Dow Chemical’s sponsorship with the event.

A similar letter has been written to the President of Indian Olympic Association.

A petition for the Olympians to sign and ask London Olympics chief to reject Dow’s sponsorship with Olympics will be released also.

The Dow Chemical Company, which bought the Union Carbide Corp (UCC) in February 2001, 17 years after the Bhopal gas tragedy caused from leaking of gas from an Indian subsidiary plant of UCC, had said it had no responsibility for the gas leak in a factory it did not operate in 1984.

“Also very soon a petition will be released in England asking the people to register their protest on Dow’ sponsorship,” said Rachna Dhingra of Bhopal Group for Information & Action on Wednesday.

“We feel that Dow Chemical Company is following a racist policy of double standards with regard to its legally inherited Bhopal liabilities.

“Till date the company refuses to accept this legal liability claiming instead that Union Carbide is a separate and independent company and therefore beyond its control,” she said.

She said the Dow Chemical’s refusal to compensate the Bhopal victims is rather contrary to its stance in the USA where, following the 2001 merger, outstanding liabilities of Union Carbide are directly addressed by Dow representatives and, once paid, are registered as charges upon Dow’s consolidated earnings.

The Organising Committees of Olympics hugely underestimate the negative fallout that such association can cause to the image of the Olympics, said the Bhopal victims.

Source: India Blooms News Service

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We believe Dow must finally accept responsibility for Bhopal. Until then, The Bhopal Medical Appeal funds two award-winning clinics in the city. Both offer free, first-class care to victims of the gas disaster or the ongoing water contamination. The survivors have nowhere else left to turn – please help if you can.