Hunger Strike- Demands Met After Four Days Fasting Without Water.

Hunger Strike- Demands Met After Four Days Fasting Without Water.
Government of India to File for Urgent Hearing, Curative Petition #DowChemical

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The six women Bhopal survivors have ended their waterless hunger strike after four days. The Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers has accepted their demands that: the ‘curative petition’ be filed by the Central Government for urgent hearing; and that the curative petition will be amended to reflect a more accurate (higher) number for the dead and injured.

The curative petition is designed to revisit the 1989 civil settlement and to correct inherent injustices within it- including the vast underestimation of the scale of death and injuries. The Indian Government’s official position is that the ‘gross inadequacy’ of that settlement (with Union Carbide Corporation) resulted in an ‘irremediable injustice’.

The curative petition was filed in 2010 but has never been heard. A date was schedule, for August 5th 2014, but was inexplicably postponed.

The Govt of India had been seeking additional compensation of up to $1.24billion. The hunger strikers demanded that the GoI use a higher figure for the dead and injured which would raise the required settlement to $8.1billion. The numbers demanded by the survivors were published by the Govt of India itself in an Indian Council of Medical Research epidemiological report in 2004.

Dow Chemical continues to maintain that the Bhopal Disaster had a ‘full and final settlement’ but this is simply not true. Union Carbide and Dow Chemical itself are embroiled in FOUR separate court cases in India and the USA. As recently as November 12th this year Dow had been summonsed to attend the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court, in Bhopal, to explain why it does not produce Union Carbide (it’s wholly-owned subsidiary) to answer the outstanding criminal charges against it. Dow did not appear in court.

Colin Toogood, Bhopal Medical Appeal spokesman: “This is a great day for the Bhopal Campaigners, and we hope a step nearer to finally holding Dow Chemical/ Union Carbide to account. This company must be made to face the courts, it cannot be allowed to behave as if it is above the law. There is much more at stake than just the resolution of the Bhopal Disaster.”

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We believe Dow & DuPont 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.