Bhopal: The representatives of five organizations of survivors of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal on Monday announced their plans of indefinite fast at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi from November 10 on the issue of compensation.
They said that five women survivors will stop taking any food or water demanding additional compensation for all survivors of the disaster and correction of figures of death and extent of injury in the curative petition filed in the Supreme Court by the Central Government.
Rashida Bee, the president of a trade union of women survivors, said that the ex-gratia compensation of Rs. one lakh was given to only 33, 672 survivors among the 5, 69, 081 people exposed to Union Carbide's toxic gas.
"There is no scientific or legal basis to deny additional compensation to 93 per cent of the victims. Our protest at Jantar Mantar is for additional compensation of Rs. 1 lakh for all gas victims" she said.
Nawab Khan, the president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha, said the figures of death and extent of injury caused by Union Carbide in the curative petition are far lower than the findings of the Indian Council of Medical Research and other scientific agencies.
"The government is downplaying the damage caused by Union Carbide even when it is seeking additional compensation" Khan added.
Balkrishna Namdeo, the president of an organization fighting for social support for the needy, said the government is seeking only 1.2 billion dollars as additional compensation in the curative petition whereas it should be asking for at least 8.1 billion dollars from the American corporations.
Rachna Dhingra of the Bhopal Group for Information and Action said the denial of proper compensation to the victims is a direct result of successive governments at the centre so far siding with Union Carbide.
"We will see whose side our new Prime Minister is on," Dhingra said. The poisonous gas leak from the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal killed more than 5,000 people on the night of December 2-3, 1984.