Home India News Narasimha Rao decided on Anderson’s safe passage: Rasgotra

Narasimha Rao decided on Anderson’s safe passage: Rasgotra


New Delhi : Warren Anderson, the then Union Carbide chief, was assured of a “safe passage” before he came to India in the aftermath of the 1984 Bhopal gas leak following a decision taken by P.V. Narasimha Rao, who was then the home minister, according to M.K. Rasgotra, who was the foreign secretary at the time.

“Matters were left with (P.V.) Narasimha Rao, may have asked the home ministry to release Anderson as it was the wrong thing to arrest Anderson. Releasing Anderson was in India’s interest,” said Rasgotra, in an interview with the CNN-IBN news channel.

“He (Gordon Streeb, the then deputy chief of the US mission here) said Anderson wanted to come here,” Rasgotra said. Anderson had requested a “safe passage” through the US embassy, he said.

“There was a tragic situation and he wanted to see things himself, wanted to offer his condolences but he would come only if granted safe passage,” said Rasgotra.

Recalling the chain of events that led to Anderson leaving the country in 1984, Rasgotra said “he got in touch with the home ministry and in touch with the cabinet secretary,” after the safe passage offer was made.

Rasgotra clarified that the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was subsequently told about granting Anderson a safe passage, to which he did not object.

Rasgotra’s comments came a day before the Group of Ministers meet here Friday to discuss different aspects of the fallout of the Bhopal court verdict in the gas leak case. The GoM, headed by Home Minister P. Chidambaram, was reconstituted last month.