CPM demands all-party meeting on Bhopal

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 22, 2010 11:57 hrs

New Delhi: The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to call an all-party meeting to discuss the recommendations of the ministerial panel on the Bhopal gas tragedy before the cabinet takes any decision on it.

'The government should call a meeting of all political parties and representatives of the gas victims to discuss the recommendations of the (Group of Minister) GoM before the cabinet takes a decision,' a CPI-M statement said.

The Left party has demanded that Dow Chemical, which took over Union Carbide in 2001, should be made liable for the damages and compensation related to the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

'There is no serious effort to make Dow Chemical liable for the damages and compensation. The entire expenses for the remediation and environmental clean up at the Bhopal factory site should be borne by Dow,' the CPI-M said.

However, it welcomed the Group of Ministers (GoM) recommendation for a curative petition against a Supreme Court order that diluted the charges against the accused in the Bhopal gas leak, the world's worst industrial disaster.

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The Left party said restarting of the Bhopal unit of the Indian Council of Medical Research and takeover by the government of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital Trust was also 'welcome'.

The CPI-M has found flaws in the relief package according to which the panel has recommended Rs.10 lakh to the next of kin of the dead, Rs.5 lakh for the permanently disabled and Rs.3 lakh for those with partial disability.

'Compensation package offered is based on flawed estimation of deaths and injuries and the amount of compensation offered remains meagre,' it said.

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