Dear Mr. Manmohan Singh,
We were shocked to learn of the decision of the Group of Ministers on the Bhopal gas disaster made at the group’s 13th January 2012 meeting. In that decision, the group refused to correct the alleged facts regarding the number of injuries and deaths caused by the disaster. Those alleged facts are set forth in the curative petition filed by the Central Government in the Supreme Court of India. However, those alleged facts as currently set forth in the petition are wrong and without any basis.
Specifically, the curative petition filed by the Central Government alleges that there were 5,295 deaths caused by the disaster. However, that number is merely one fourth of the actual number of deaths as reported by the reputable Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its epidemiological report published in 2004. Likewise, the curative petition alleges that there were only 42 injuries of utmost severity, which is a ridiculously low number. As per the ICMR report, this number is well above 33,000. Similarly, the Madhya Pradesh government has acknowledged 15,342 deaths and 521,000 victims suffering from permanent injury as a result of the disaster. Moreover, the Madhya Pradesh Government is willing to revise upwards its figures of deaths and injuries caused by the disaster.
In view of its severe underreporting of injuries and deaths, the curative petition in its current form would only serve to misinform the Supreme Court regarding the extent of damage caused by Union Carbide and Dow Chemical in connection with the disaster. The curative petition in its current form thus would be an obstruction to the delivery of justice to the Bhopal victims.
We demand that the Central Government rectify its figures on disaster-related deaths and injuries in its petition filed in the Supreme Court of India so that rightful compensation from Union Carbide and Dow Chemical Company can be ensured.