Sunday, 4 December 2011

Indian protesters block trains and torch police cars - dramatic video

THOUSANDS  of survivors of the world’s worst industrial accident blocked trains through a central Indian city on Saturday to demand more compensation.

The protest came on the 27th anniversary of the disaster in Bhopal, where a Union Carbide pesticide plant leaked lethal gas that killed an estimated 15,000 people and maimed tens of thousands more.

Associated Press reports that Bhopal activists and survivors also are calling for Dow to be dropped as a sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics. On Friday, about 200 protesters had marched to the now-abandoned plant and burned effigies of  Olympic officials, including Lord Coe.

Activist Rachna Dhingra said police charged Saturday's protesters with sticks in trying to stop them from occupying Bhopal’s five train lines. The protesters, most of them women sitting on the tracks, threw stones at the officers and set four police jeeps and several motorcycles on fire.

Several people, including a police superintendent, were injured in the stone pelting, police said. Eight women were detained, activists said.

Trains were backed up and halted on most lines through much of Saturday, including the route between Delhi and the southern city of Chennai.

The five Bhopal victims’ rights groups that organized the protest demanded that Dow Chemicals, which bought Union Carbide in 2001, pay $8.1 billion in compensation for more than 500,000 people exposed to the leak.

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