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Published On:24 December 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Bhopal gas survivors condemn MP CM of going back on promise to set up ‘impartial’ probe into Dec 3 violence

Even 80-year-old women survivors slapped with attempt to murder charge

By Pervez Bari

Bhopal: The leaders of the five organisations working for the welfare of the victims and survivors of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the world’s worst industrial catastrophe, have demanded dropping of criminal charges against 2000 survivors. They have been framed to have allegedly taken part in the violence that ensued following the “Rail Roko” agitation on December 3 last, the 27th anniversary of the disaster.

 Addressing a joint press conference the leaders of the five NGOs here on Thursday said that 14 men have been arrested under false charges of murderous assault and other serious offences without a shred of evidence. The organisations claimed to have photographic and video evidence to show that violence on the 27th anniversary of the disaster was initiated by unprovoked attack on defenseless women survivors by armed policemen under the orders of the District Collector.

In addition to 14 people arrested, of which 11 are incidentally Muslims, there are many other gas victims who are facing serious charges like attempt to murder (IPC 307). Ms Batul Bee, Ms Rampyari Bai are over 80 years old are facing such serious charges. Ms Bano Bee, Balkrishan Namdeo, Ms Hazra Bee all over 60 years old are also facing same charges, the NGOs pointed out.

The organisations said that by criminally charging gas victims, some older than 80 years and most with health problems, the government was trying to suppress the survivors legitimate demand for adequate compensation from Union Carbide and Dow Chemical. They condemned the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s going back on his promise of setting up “impartial” investigation into the violence on the 27th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster.

The organisations said that none of the 14 arrested on December 3 2011 ever had had any previous criminal case against them. They presented work place records to demonstrate that 6 out of the 14 arrested were not even present at the time of violence. They said that the police did not have any photographic or video graphic evidence to show that the 14 persons indulged in any attack on the police or public property.

Maulana Mufti Abdul Razzaq, a well-known spiritual leader of Bhopal Muslims, joined the conference and called for end of tyranny by the state. He said that he supports the demand for adequate compensation from the American companies and said that the false charges on innocent victims must be dropped without delay. He said that the disaster and police atrocities on the 27th anniversary have affected Hindus and Muslims alike and laid the blame for the violence on 3rd December on Chief Minister and Collector.

However, it may be mentioned here that police administration have denied the charges levelled by the gas victims’ organisations saying that on the basis of concrete evidence arrests have been made and they have not been tortured as alleged. Senior Superintendent of Police Yogesh Choudhary has refuted the claims of the gas victims bodies.

Meanwhile, the organisations praised the Madhya Pradesh State Human Rights Commission, (MPSHRC), for issuing notice to the district and police administration on the violence of December 3. They said they have filed a complaint with the MPSHRC on the violation of legal and constitutional rights of the arrested persons. Family members of the arrested persons narrated that the arrested young men were beaten up, stripped to their underwear and kept in the lock up for over 48 hours before being produced in front of a magistrate. The arrested persons were also not told about their charges, given food or any protection from cold and were denied access to their lawyers or family members.

The organisations said that contrary to the Chief Minister Chouhan’s publicly stated promise of revising the figures of death and trying to ensure maximum compensation for all gas victims, the state government had taken no steps to correct the figures of deaths and injury in the Curative Petition before the Supreme Court. They said that instead of supporting the demands of the survivors’ organisations as promised in his public statement on the anniversary, the Chief Minister was harming the gas victim’s cause by demanding the inclusion of residents of 20 non affected wards in the list of claimants for compensation.

The organisations vowed to continue with their struggle for adequate compensation from Union Carbide and Dow Chemical and against the violation of their human rights by the police and district administration.

The five organisations which addressed the Press conference are: Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmchari Sangh, Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh, Morcha, Bhopal Gas Peedit Nirashrit Pension Bhogi Sangharsh Morcha, Bhopal Group for Information & Action and Children Against Dow Carbide.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

The list of persons in custody for the December 3, 2011 incident of violence, which has 11 Muslims out of 14, are as follows:-

S No.
Name
Fathers name
Age
Gas Victim
Compensation
Occupation
Details of Arrest
1.
Amir Ahmed
Aqil Ahmed
18
Parents
25000 to all family members
Apprentice Tailor
He was returning home after watching 12-3 PM show at Sangam Cinema. At 3:30 PM arrested from Pul Patra by police.
2.
Faiz aka Bushra
Azeez Khan
28
Yes
25000
Timber mill worker
Faiz was trying to extinguish the fire in timber mill and was caught by the police and beaten up till he became unconscious and then dragged and thrown into police vehicle.
3.
Mohammed Imran
Mohammed Irshad
18
No
NA
Egg shop in Naveen Nagar
He was returning home and was caught near his house. When he started running away he was chased on a jeep till he fell down and was beaten up again and put in vehicle
4.
Mohammed Qamar
Banne Khan
28
Yes
25000
Self Employed Electrician
He was watching the incident standing near Taj Shadi Hall. Police came running towards him and he got scared and started running and was arrested.
5.
Naresh Vishwakarma
Chunnilal Vishwakarma
36
Yes
25000
Carpenter
He was working on a site with his contractor 14 km away from Bhopal. He left work early that day and was arrested around 3 pm on his way back home. His contractor testified to this.
6.
Mohammed Afzal Ansari
Mohammed Shareef
28
Yes
25000
Loading Auto Driver
Going to A1 Star Shadi hall for his sister’s daughter’s wedding with his friend on a motorcycle and was arrested at the petrol pump at 3 PM.
7
Mohammed Rizwan
Mohammed Jameel
30
Yes
25000
Loading Auto Driver
Was going to the wedding hall with his friend on a motorcycle.
8
Mohsin
Mohammed Irshad
28
Yes
25000
Supervisor of Timer Mill
The owner of the timber mill, one Nafees Bhai asked him to close down the mills and let the workers go home. On his way to home at Pul Patra after violence started in the area.  Around 2:00 pm he was caught and beaten up by the police and then arrested. His employer is willing to testify.
9
Naveen Jain
Babulal Jain
32
Yes
25000
Ice-cream Vendor
He works at Campus Ice Cream shop at Barkhedi. At 12 pm he came to open the shop and was told not to . He went to his friend’s house behind Taj Shadi Hall and was having tea. All of sudden police came into the house and started hitting him and his friend. Naveen was dragged out of the house and taken to police station.
10
Tariq Khan
Layeeq Khan
28
Yes
Never Received
Security Guard at Veterinary Hospital
His shift was from 7 AM -3 PM. While coming back from his duty he was arrested from behind Aishbagh Stadium at 3:30 PM.
11
Parvez
Mohammed Javed
18
Parents
25000
Mobile Shop near Bharat Talkies
He was working in the mobile shop with the owner. The shop was shut down at 2:30 pm due to trouble in the area. He was coming back home and was caught by police at Pul Patra. The owner of the shop is willing to testify
12
Naved Ali
Masood Ali
22
Details not available
13.
Nayeem Khan aka Bhaiya
Fazal Khan
Details not available
14.
Pooran
Mulchand Kori
Details not available

Meanwhile, details of False Criminal Charges against 2000 gas victims are as follows:-

S.No
Act
Section
Offence
Punishment
1
IPC
147
Rioting
2 years imprisonment and fine
2
IPC
148
Rioting Armed with deadly weapons
3 years imprisonment
3
IPC
149
Unlawful Assembly
All members of unlawfully assembly will be guilty of same offences
4
IPC
186
Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions
3 months imprisonment and fine
5
IPC
294
Obscene acts and songs
3 months imprisonment and fine
6
IPC
307
Attempt to murder
10 years imprisonment and fine
7
IPC
323
Causing hurt
1 year imprisonment and fine
8
IPC
332
Causing hurt to deter public servant from duty
3 years imprisonment and fine
9
IPC
341
Wrongful restraint
One month imprisonment and fine
10
IPC
353
Assault on public servant to deter from discharge of duty
2 years imprisonment and fine
11
IPC
427
Causing damage to property
2 years imprisonment and fine
12
IPC
435

7 years imprisonment and fine
13
Railways Act
150
Wrecking or attempting to wreck a train
10 years to life imprisonment
14
Railways Act
151
Destruction of railway property
5 years imprisonment and fine
15
Railways Act
174
Obstructing of running of train
2 years imprisonment and fine
16
Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act
3
Damage to public property
5 years imprisonment and fine
17
Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act
4
Damage to public property by fire or explosive substance
10 years imprisonment and fine

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on December 24, 2011. Filed under , , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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