Bhopal gas tragedy: Outfits fighting for survivors hail EDM in UK Parliament

  • | Thursday | 1st December, 2022

Bhopal, Dec 1 (PTI) Five organisations working with survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy expressed gratitude on Thursday to the Members of the United Kingdom Parliament for backing an Early Day Motion (EDM) entitled ‘Campaign for justice for the victims of the Bhopal gas leak". The EDM, which is a short parliamentary proposal that give MPs the opportunity to publicise a cause and are often used to show widespread support for a particular issue, was introduced by Navendu Mishra, Labour MP for Stockport in northern England and chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for India (Trade and Investment). Several thousand people were killed and lakhs fell ill after inhaling toxic gas that spewed out of a now defunct Union Carbide factory in Bhopal in the intervening night of December 2 and 3, 1984. It is generally considered the world"s worst industrial disaster. "Forty members of British Parliament, including representatives from five political parties and three independent MPs, had signed an EDM that calls for those responsible for the disaster to be brought to justice, and calls upon Dow Chemicals, owner of Union Carbide, "to urgently rectify the environmental damage and properly compensate the victims", a statement issued by the five organisations here said. The EDM also commends the work of Bhopal based journalist late Rajkumar Keswani, the statement added. "It is significant the recent leadership of the opposition, namely Jeremy Corbyn, an independent and Andy Macdonald of the Labour party, have supported the EDM," said Rashida Bee, president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh. She expressed hope more MPs will sign the EDM and lingering issues of Bhopal will receive the attention of the UK parliament in the near future. Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information & Action said Navendu Mishra, who has moved the EDM, had earlier secured a debate in the UK Parliament over the issues of justice, remediation of contaminated lands and adequate compensation for the victims. "His efforts resulted in the UK Minister of state in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Anne-Marie Trevelyan to commit to raise issues of Bhopal with Indian counterparts during ongoing discussions on trade and cooperation,” the statement said. Balkrishna Namdeo, president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogee Sangharsh Morcha, said he hoped the move will inspire more parliamentarians across the world to come to the aid of Bhopal gas tragedy survivors, who are currently fighting for adequate compensation, cleaning up of poisons from soil and groundwater, punishment of the guilty corporations and medical and social rehabilitation. Nawab Khan and Shezadi Bee of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha as well as Nousheen Khan of Children Against Dow Carbide also hailed the British parliamentarians for their support. PTI LAL BNM BNM

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