Sunday, June 15, 2008

Dharna in Pune in solidarity with Bhopalis on Indefinite hunger strike in Delhi

Join the Bhopalis

in their struggle for justice!

Join us Puneites in a dharna

in Solidarity with the Bhopalis

June 16 , 4-7 pm,

Tilkak Putla, Mandai, Pune


§         Nine Bhopalis Enter Their 3rd Day Of Indefinite Hunger Strike. Acclaimed writer Indra Sinha and Many Join Them Worldwide
§         112 Days on Road, 77 Days At The Dharna-sthal! PM Turns A Blind Eye To Justice. Police turn violent on protestors.
23 long years on the path to justice!
You are all probably that the Bhopal gas survivors took out a padyatra from Bhopal to Delhi in Feb-Mar this year to press for their demands. Despite the long march, the PM refused to meet them, and the Bhopalis then sat down on a dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. Despite 77 days of the Dharna, the Prime Minister is yet to meet the people of Bhopal and their demands . They have tried all possible means from silent peaceful protests to street theatre to demonstrations and even 'chaining themselves up', to try and convince the PM to meet them. Activists of Delhi have held their hands in support. Even some Ministers,  a few Members of Parliament and eminent people from the city have assured them of their support and promised them justice. But such is the clout of Dow Chemicals over the Prime Minister Office that the PM has only given vague assurances of meeting the demands of the Bhopalis. Considering the behaviour of the Indian government for the past 23 years, it is obvious that nothing will be done.
On 9 June, 33 people, women, children and men, who were staging a peaceful protest in front of the PMs Office  were arrested, whipped with belts, the women strip-searched and their clothes torn, and then jailed. Rather than meet their demands promptly, the Government has ignored their march from Bhopal to Delhi, met their 2 month-long dharna with empty promises, and dealt with their non-violent protests with beatings and jailing. The attitude of the authorities clearly shows that they "want to teach the protestors a lesson."  It seems to be a coordinated effort to discourage democratic protest.  

Since 10 June, nine activists, including gas survivors are on an indefinite hunger strike seeking justice. Three of the activists on indefinite hunger strike have begun their fast in jail. They demand: An Empowered Commission on Bhopal by endorsing the bill proposed by survivors organizations and committing to introducing it in the Parliament in the monsoon session; committing the funds required to allow the Commission to function for 30 years for medical, economic, social and environmental rehabilitation, and Immediate legal action against Dow Chemical and Union Carbide.
Supporters from different parts of the world, including Booker Prize nominated author Indra Sinha, are on a fast in support of the Bhopalis. 

It has been 23 years of waiting, the Bhopalis refuse to be led on with false promises anymore.

Come and join, let us raise our voice in solidarity with the Bhopalis.


Date:        June 16, 2008

Time:        4 pm to 7 pm.

Venue:      Tilka Putla (Statue), Mandai


We call upon all progressive organizations of Pune

to join us in this Dharna with their banners.




Neeraj Jain, Alka Joshi               Medha Thatte                                Mukta Manohar

          Lokayat                   Shramik Mahila Morcha      Pune Municipal Employees Union

Neeraj Jain
Ph. 94222 20311

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