[Reader-list] Fwd: Please Endorse Statement on Bhopal to PM TODAY - PLEASE CIRCULATE TO YOUR CONTACTS urgent !

OISHIK SIRCAR oishiksircar at gmail.com
Tue Jun 17 11:31:29 IST 2008

Friends, Help us get as many endorsement as possible from all cross the
country. It would really be helpful. We plan to release it tomorrow at a
press conference here and send it to PM. Thanks !

June 17 2008

*Request to Federations, Alliances, Movements, Organisations and Individuals
for Endorsement on the Statement to PM in support of Bhopal. Send
endorsements to madhuresh at cacim.net <mailto:madhuresh at cacim.net> *

Dear Friends,

The survivors of the Bhopal gas disaster and activists have been on a dharna
at Jantar Mantar for over 75 days. So far there has been no concrete
response from the Prime Minister on their demands. On June 9 in response to
a peaceful sit-in at South Block they were arrested and children were abused
by the Delhi police. In protest, 5 days ago, nine activists started an
indefinite hunger strike. Even till today 23 of the Bhopalis are in Tihar
Jail and our attempts to secure bail for them has been met with stiff
resistance from the State.

This shameful state of affairs must stop. It is crucial that groups across
the country unite in support to up the ante on the Manmohan Singh

In consultation with the Bhopal Groups it has also been decided to observe a
*National Day of Action and Solidarity for Bhopal* on 17^th June 2008 across
the country.

*We hope you will endorse the statement to PM (pasted below) so that it can
be delivered collectively to PMO after 17^th and released to media on 18^th
June in a press conference in Delhi. *

We have heard from friends and comrades in Delhi, Bombay, Chennai,
Coimbatore, Raipur and some other places who will hold some kind of action
there today. Let us all join hands now…

Please circulate this to your friends, networks and ask them to endorse it
too. Every small action counts …

In Solidarity

Supporters of Bhopal

(Send endorsements to madhuresh at cacim.net <mailto:madhuresh at cacim.net>)

*Statement to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh*


We, the undersigned organisations and individuals, express our dismay and
indignation at the indifference of the Prime Minister's office towards the
rightful demands of the Bhopal gas survivors. Rather than meet their demands
promptly, the Government has ignored their march from Bhopal to Delhi, met
their 2 month-long dharna with empty promises, and dealt their non-violent
protests with beatings and jailing. Your silence has now prompted them to
launch an indefinite fast, where they are being joined by a growing number
of people, including several from the USA, UK and India, who have
volunteered to fast indefinitely along with them.

For the past 23 years they have had a set of basic and simple demands; those
that should have been met decades ago by any Government that claimed to work
for its people. However, on February 20, 2008, women, children and men from
Bhopal, had to undertake a grueling march of 800 kms to reach Delhi to press
their demands.

We are concerned for the health of the people who have begun an indefinite
fast. In particular, we are concerned about the well-being of those among
the hunger strikers who have already been affected by Union Carbide's

We also are dismayed with the treatment meted out by the police on the
protesters who resorted to a peaceful protest in South Block on June 9. 14
Bhopali children, along with 22 adults, were arrested and later beaten up in
police custody. To add insult to injury, the Prime Minister's Office and the
Police have denied this, hinting that the Bhopalis are liars. The PMO cannot
reach any such conclusion without conducting an enquiry, and without
speaking to the children who allege this abuse. We urge you to initiate an
enquiry and take legal action against the policepersons, many of whose names
are known.

The PMO has also conveyed that the Bhopalis would need to understand that
the law will take its course if they break it – for instance, by breaching a
high-security area around your house or office. How is it that the law takes
its course for the Bhopalis, but not for Union Carbide or Dow? How is it
that the law does not take its course in delivering water to the Bhopalis
for years after the Supreme Court orders that this should be done?

Sir, the statement read by your emissary Mr. Prithviraj Chavan gave us a
little hope, and we thank you for that first step. But we are disappointed
by the tentative manner in which the Government is approaching the setting
up of the Commission, claiming that the matter requires the complete assent
of the State Government. The Government forgets that by declaring itself
/parens patriae/, it assumed the role of a parent to the Bhopalis during the
civil litigation for damages from Union Carbide.

While we welcome the initiative taken by the Prime Minister towards meeting
their demands, we request him to take adequate measures to make his promises
genuine. The signatories to this statement reiterate the demands of the

·         Set up an Empowered Commission on Bhopal by endorsing the bill
proposed by survivors organisations and committing to introducing it in the
Parliament in the monsoon session. This includes committing the funds
required to allow the Commission to function for 30 years for medical,
economic, social and environmental rehabilitation.

·         The Government should immediately initiate legal action against
Dow Chemical and Union Carbide.

/Endorsed by: /

 1. Aasha Parivar,
 2. AID India
 3. AISA
 4. Amnesty International
 5. Delhi Solidarity Group
 6. Fishermen Coordination of Tamil Nadu & Pondycherry
 8. International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
 10. NAPM Delhi
 11. MKSS – Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan
 12. Nadi Ghati Morcha
 13. NCDHR
 15. PSU
 16. PUCL Rajasthan
 17. People's Union for civil Liberties - Tamil Nadu
 18. Stree Adhikar Sangathan
 19. Students for Bhopal
 20. Tamil Nadu Womens' Collective
 21. Yuva Samvad
 22. CACIM
 23. Corporate Accountability Desk, Chennai
 24. Delhi Forum
 25. Focus on the Global South
 26. Intercultural Resources
 27. Jagori
 28. The Other Media
 29. Swechcha
 30. Tamil Nadu Environment Council-Dindigul
 31. Human Rights Initiative- Tamil Nadu
 32. Cuddalore District Consumer Protection Organisation
 33. Kanchi Makkal Mandram
 34. Chankya Group


CACIM, A-3 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110 024, India
Ph : +91-11-4155 1521, +91-98-1890 5316 (Mobile)
madhuresh at cacim.net / kmadhuresh at gmail.com www.cacim.net
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Scholar in Women's Rights
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

oishiksircar at gmail.com
oishik.sircar at utoronto.ca

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