Greenpeace activists held for protesting n-bill near parliament


New Delhi : Six activists of environmental group Greenpeace were detained Wednesday for protesting the civil nuclear liability bill in front of Parliament House here.

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“No charges have been levelled against the six activists till now. According to latest reports, they’re still waiting for the station house officer to arrive,” Greenpeace India media officer Derek J. Wheeler told IANS.

The demonstration started around 10 a.m. when Greenpeace activists put up banners of “People before Profit” and beat drums with danger radioactive symbols.

A crowd gathered as two activists climbed lampposts and tied themselves with chains to them. Four activists below stood on the ground as police intervened and tried to move them out.

Fifteen minutes later, police brought down the two demonstrators perched on the lampposts. All six demonstrators were detained and bundled into a van.

Citing the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster, Greenpeace’s lead campaigner Karuna Raina said: “The clause of supplier liability is subject to the ‘intent’ of the supplier. This is absurd and totally unacceptable. In case of any tragedy, which will be huge considering the scale of the projects, the ‘intention’ will be open to interpretation.”

“Another cause of worry,” she added, “was the cap on compensation in case of a catastrophe. We should learn our lessons from Bhopal gas disaster, an upper cap on compensation can severely affect the people in need after such a tragedy.”

Giving the American example of economic channeling of liability, Raina said such should be the outlook of the bill where everybody involved is held accountable.

The activists called on the opposition parties to act in the interests of people and ask for reconsideration in the clauses.

The government introduced the civil nuclear liability bill in parliament Wednesday. The opposition has been protesting a specific section in the bill, which they claim dilutes the liability of suppliers.