Bhopal tragedy: Complaint filed against Arjun Singh

      A complaint has been registered against veteran Congress leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Arjun Singh over his alleged role in the release of former Union Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson, the prime accused in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, who was allowed to leave the country soon after the catastrophe. Advocate Furkhan Khan, who has filed a complaint in Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) R G Singh's court, has demanded the registration of a criminal case against Singh for permitting Anderson to flee to the United States in a wrong manner. Meanwhile, a separate complaint has been filed against former Bhopal Collector Moti Singh and Superintendent of Police (SP) Swaraj Puri on the charge of facilitating the safe exit of Anderson. The court will take up the matter for argument on June 29 following which it will decide whether the complaints are acceptable for hearing or not. Anderson was arrested on December 7,1984, when the deadly methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leak from Union Carbide's Bhopal plant. The gas leakage had killed thousands of people just five days ago. Singh is believed to have ordered the release of Anderson, but opposition parties allege that he was instructed to do so by the then Central Government led by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Anderson was charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, grievous assault and killing and poisoning human beings and animals. A District Magistrate's Court in Bhopal had on June 7 convicted all eight accused on grounds of negligence under Section 304 (a) for the tragedy. The court also granted bail to seven of the eight accused and released them on submission of a bond and a surety of Rs 25,000 each. The eight accused are Keshub Mahendra, Vijay Gokhle, Kishore Kamdar, J Mukund, S P Choudhary, K V Shetty and S I Qureshi and R B Roy Choudhary. Out of the accused R B Roy Choudhary, then former Assistant Works Manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), Mumbai, died during the trial. Anderson has been designated an absconder. New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has continued to trade charges with the Congress party for letting former Union Carbide Chairman Warren Anderson, the prime accused in the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy, flee to the United States after the catastrophe. Veteran BJP leader and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Sunderlal Patwa said Arjun Singh should break his silence on the issue. Why is Mr. Arjun Singh silent? Why is he not speaking? My question to him is that after arresting Anderson, who telephoned from Delhi," said Patwa. "It is confirmed that telephone call came from Delhi. He should reveal, who telephoned and what was discussed," he added. Meanwhile in New Delhi, BJP spokesman Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has admitted that the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi could have been involved in letting off Anderson. "Pranab Mukherjee gave a statement in West Bengal and accepted that the then Chief Minister and then Prime Minister were responsible for Anderson leaving this country," said Rudy. "He himself clarified that law and order situation in Bhopal was so bad that they were not worried about those, who had died but the government was worried about people responsible for that crime," he added. Earlier on Monday, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh issued directions to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram-led Group of Ministers (GoM), constituted to look into all issues relating to the Bhopal gas leak disaster, to report progress on the matter to the Cabinet within ten days. A District Magistrate's Court in Bhopal had on June 7 convicted all eight accused on grounds of negligence under Section 304 (a) for the tragedy. The court also granted bail to seven of the eight accused and released them on submission of a bond and a surety of Rs 25,000 each. The eight accused are Keshub Mahendra, Vijay Gokhle, Kishore Kamdar, J Mukund, S P Choudhary, K V Shetty and S I Qureshi and R B Roy Choudhary. Out of the accused R B Roy Choudhary, then former Assistant Works Manager Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), Mumbai, died during the trial. Anderson has been designated an absconder.

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