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Last Updated: Monday, 25 October, 2004, 14:36 GMT 15:36 UK
Bhopal survivors in Delhi protest
Bhopal protester in Delhi
Survivors have been waiting for help for years
Survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak in India have rallied near parliament in Delhi, demanding the authorities pay out more than $300m in compensation.

Hundreds of people, mainly widows, took part in Monday's demonstration.

The American owners of the Bhopal pesticide plant, Union Carbide, agreed a compensation settlement in 1989.

But only part of the money was given to survivors and victims' relatives. In July India's Supreme Court ordered the government to hand the rest over.

About 15bn rupees ($327.5m) is still being held by the Indian central bank.

'Impossible'

The Supreme Court did not say when the money must be paid out but told the government official in charge of disaster relief to report back within three months.

"The commissioner in charge of relief has stalled everything by saying that it is impossible to make pay-outs unless 11,000 cases relating to the Bhopal gas leak are settled," disaster victim Balkrishna Namdeo told the AFP news agency.

About 3,000 people died in the days immediately following the disaster in Bhopal, the capital of the central state of Madhya Pradesh.

Campaigners say nearly 20,000 others have since died from the effects of the leak of methyl isocyanate gas at the plant owned by Union Carbide, now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical.


SEE ALSO:
Bhopal victims exercise 'sacred' vote
10 May 04 |  South Asia
Bhopal campaigners win key prize
19 Apr 04 |  South Asia
Gas disaster survivors fight on
02 Dec 03 |  South Asia
US dismisses Bhopal lawsuit
20 Mar 03 |  Business
Bhopal: Death at midnight
26 Aug 02 |  South Asia


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