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Press Release – VICTORY – Bhopal gas Survivors Calling off the Indefinite Waterless Fast in New Delhi

PRESS RELEASE:

The five women survivors fasting since November 10 at Jantar Mantar,
New Delhi, have broken their waterless fast. ***The women, along with
about 200 people present, have been protesting for additional
compensation for the survivors of the Union Carbide gas tragedy in
Bhopal on December 3, 1984, as well as a revision of figures of death
and injury caused by the gas disaster in the Curative petition filed
by the central government for additional compensation from Union
Carbide and Dow Chemical.*** [Emphasis added.]

Along with the waterless fast and dharna, a mass fax action was
conducted yesterday and today, directed at the PMO and the Ministry of
Chemicals and Fertilizers. The faxes from supporters all over the
world urged the Prime Minister and the Minsiter of Chemicals and
Fertilizers to accept the two demands unequivocally. Two meetings were
held, on the evenings of November 13 and 14, between the
representatives of the protest and the Secretary of the Ministry.

The Minister Ananth Kumar joined the second meeting today and heard
the demands carefully. He accepted the two demands and offered full
assurance that the figures of death and extent of injury figures will
be revised on the basis of data from hospital records and the
scientific reports of the Indian Council of Medical Research. The
Minister also assured that following the revision of figures, the
curative petition will be amended and an application will be filed by
the Central Government for urgent hearing. Responding to the demand
for additional compensation for all survivors, the Minister assured
that this too shall be done on the basis of the revised figures.

The representatives joined the protestors around 7:30pm today and
delivered the message of the Minister and the Secretary to the
survivors and others present at the protest site. ***The protestors
democratically decided to accept the verbal assurances given by the
Minister and urged the five women survivors, Premlata, Vishnu Bai,
Kasturi Bai, Shehazadi Bee and Kamla Bai, and supporter Rachna, to
break their fast. The Joint Secretary of the Department of Chemicals
and Petrochemicals, AJV Prasad, visited the protest site and met with
the survivors. He also urged that the fast be broken.*** [Emphasis
added.]

The survivors consider this a victory, and are celebrating the success
of their efforts. Tomorrow, the survivors will take a much-needed
break and tour the capital before departing for home.

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