Bhopal: An effigy of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram was set on fire by victims of the Bhopal Gas tragedy here on Saturday to protest the Group of Ministers (GOM) decision of not revising the figures of deaths and the injured in the curative petition pending before the Supreme Court.

The GoM decision would mean the victims would not be able to claim additional compensation which they have been clamoring for.

Leaders of organisations representing the victims alleged that Chidambaram has been close to Union Carbide’s owner Dow Chemical and called for his removal from the post of Chairman of the GoM, a joint release issued by them said.

The GoM's decision taken at the behest of Chidambaram is against data from scientific studies done by the government’s own apex research agency Indian Council of Medical Research, Rashida Bee, president of Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh said.

Presenting a copy of a letter written by Chidambaram to the PMO in 2006, Nawab Khan of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha said "Chidambaram had written to the Prime Minister to let Dow Chemical walk away from its liabilities in Bhopal. The attempt to downplay the damage caused by the American company shows how close he continues to be to Dow Chemical Company," it said.

The GoM on Bhopal Gas tragedy was originally formed to deal with the issue of clean up of the Union Carbide site. But later its mandate was expanded to include several issues including granting of additional compensation to the victims.


(Agencies)