Anderson’s escape was assured by government: CPI-M


New Delhi : Then Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson would not have come to India after the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy without an assurance of “safe passage” from the Indian government, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said Wednesday.

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“The problem is he would not have come to India had he not been promised a safe passage, particularly when it is a criminal case of such serious nature,” CPI-M politburo member M.K. Pandhe told IANS. “How could he have gone without the government support?”

Pandhe’s comments came a day after IANS reported that Anderson was promised safe passage by the Indian government even before visiting India following the 1984 tragedy.

A former US diplomat, who was the deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in New Delhi, told IANS that Anderson – who was an accused in the case – came to India after the gas leak only after getting an assurance of “safe passage” from the Indian government.

Reacting to the report, Pandhe said: “The statement by the foreign diplomat as reported, I don’t think has any incorrect idea. I believe it is the truth.”

Anderson, 89, is now retired and lives in the US.

On the night of Dec 2-3, 1984, lethal gas leaked from the Union Carbide’s pesticide plant, killing over 3,000 people instantly and many more over the years. There has been outrage in India over a court handing out a prison sentence of just two years to seven accused after all these years.