Bhopal disaster remains night yet to see dawn after 25 years

09:52, December 04, 2009      

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Even 25 years after the monstrous gas explosion happened here, which shocked the world, the once beautiful Indian city still gives a feeling of devastating and destruction.


People attend a demonstration to mark the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster in Bhopal, India, Dec. 3, 2009. The tragedy took place on Dec. 3, 1984, when tons of Methyl Iso Cyanate (MIC) and other lethal gases spewed out of the Union Carbide Corporation's pesticide plant in Bhopal, killing more than 3,500 people instantly and maiming several thousand others for life.(Xinhua Photo)

"That day, I lost my wife, two baby daughters and a son," said Ramvir Ganesh, a rickshaw puller waiting for customers at the railway station.

"I was like the end of the world and like a city being attacked by 1,000 chemical bombs," he recalled.

Meetings, rallies, demonstrations and conferences marked on Thursday the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster which killed over 30,000 people instantly and maimed several thousands for life on the night of Dec. 2 to 3, 1984.

People from all walks of life rallied to pray for the victims and sufferers in the aftermath. Kins of the victims and survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy staged a candlelight vigil here on Thursday to mark the 25th anniversary of the world's worst industrial disaster.


People attend a demonstration to mark the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster in Bhopal, India, Dec. 3, 2009.(Xinhua Photo)

A torch rally took place in front of the Union Carbide factory by the Bhopal Group of Information and Action (BGIA) group and several organizations affiliated to it.

The victims in the torchlight procession raised slogans to express their anger towards the killer, U.S. Union Carbide management and its new owner Dow Chemicals. They demanded justice and a life of dignity.

Besides paying tributes to the victims of the gas tragedy, the aim of holding various demonstrations and rallies by the activists was to harp on their long standing demands of compensation, medical and health facilities and rehabilitation of victims.

While a number of public meetings, film screenings and marches were staged across Bhopal, 16 other countries joined in the commemoration.

Among the countries participating were Germany, Italy, France, Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, Israel, Switzerland, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Cambodia, South Africa, Canada and the United States.


People attend a demonstration to mark the 25th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster in Bhopal, India, Dec. 3, 2009.(Xinhua Photo)

Union Carbide in 1984 accepted moral responsibility for the tragedy and established a 100 million dollar charitable trust fund to build a hospital for the victims. Later Union Carbide was taken over by Dow Chemicals.

Prior to the take-over, Union Carbide had paid 470 million dollars to the Indian government in 1989 in a settlement reached after a protracted legal battle.

The victims were paid 25,000 rupees in case of illness and 100,000 rupees or so to the next of kin of those killed.

Source: Xinhua
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