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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 11:26 GMT
Bhopal activists freed
An activist being dragged away by police
Protesters want more done to help gas victims
Police in the central Indian city of Bhopal have released 70 protesters who broke into the site of the 1984 Union Carbide chemical disaster.

The protesters, mostly from the environmental group Greenpeace, were arrested on Monday as they sought to remove containers of toxic waste from the compound in Bhopal.

Bhopal victim
The company accepted "moral responsibility"
Activists say not enough has been done either for the survivors of the tragedy or to clean up the area.

Three thousand people died in the days immediately following the disaster, and it is claimed as many as 10,000 died later from the effects of the leak of methyl isocyanate gas 18 years ago.

Greenpeace's executive director in India, Anant Padmanabhan, told journalists in Bhopal on Tuesday that the group had now sought the state government's permission to clean up the area.

Open in new window : Bhopal disaster
Images remembering India's poison gas leak

A day earlier, activists equipped with masks and other anti-contamination equipment had climbed onto the roof of the plant and hung up a banner claiming people are still being poisoned every day.

They are also alleging that the new owners of the plant, Dow Chemicals, have done little to clean up the site.

They say poisonous chemicals and residues still pose a threat to thousands of people who live near the factory.

'Homicide'

The protesters were detained by police who used bamboo canes, lathi sticks, to clear the crowds which had gathered.

India has said it is seeking the extradition of former Union Carbide boss Warren Anderson from the US.

Mr Anderson faces charges of "culpable homicide" for cost-cutting at the plant which is alleged to have compromised safety standards.

See also:

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03 Dec 99 | South Asia
03 Dec 99 | South Asia
16 Nov 99 | South Asia
28 Aug 02 | South Asia
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