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Commission for Bhopal grievances

By Chris Morris
BBC News, Delhi

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Victims of the Bhopal gas leak arriving in Delhi

The Indian government says it will set up a commission to examine some of the grievances of victims of the world's worst industrial disaster.

The gas leak in the city of Bhopal in 1984 claimed thousands of lives.

Campaigners from Bhopal have been camping out on the streets of Delhi for the last two months trying to publicise their cause.

They say their protests will continue as the government has not addressed one of their key demands.

Emotive

The Bhopal campaigners say they are pleased that the government has agreed to some of their demands. That includes the setting up a new commission to look into a variety of medical, social and economic concerns.

Bhopal campaigners chained to the prime minister's residence
Bhopal campaigners chained to the prime minister's residence

But the sit-in protest on the streets of Delhi will continue.

That's because the prime minister has yet to respond to the most emotive demand of all - that legal action be pursued against Union Carbide, the company which ran the Bhopal plant and against Dow Chemicals, which now owns Union Carbide.

It is nearly a quarter of a century since the industrial disaster which killed thousands of people.

Tens of thousands more have suffered from a variety of ailments ever since and many of the issues surrounding the terrible events of 1984 remain unresolved.

That is why campaigners for the victims of gas leak say that only by staying in the public eye, on the streets of the capital, do they have any realistic chance of getting political leaders to take them seriously.



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