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US rejects action against Union Carbide for Bhopal gas tragedy

Tuesday, 8 June 2010 - 9:37am IST Updated: Tuesday, 8 June 2010 - 10:29am IST | Place: Washington | Agency: PTI
Responding to a specific question on the Bhopal gas tragedy and the court's decisions, Robert Blake said this is an internal matter of India.

The US today rejected taking any action against the Union Carbide company for the world's worst industrial disaster that had left over 15,000 people dead and hoped the Indian court verdict in the Bhopal gas tragedy case would bring "closure to the victims".

 "With respect to Bhopal, obviously that was one of the greatest industrial tragedies and industrial accidents in human history.

And let me just say that we hope that this verdict today helps to bring some closure to the victims and their families," Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, told reporters at a news conference here.

"But I don't expect this verdict to reopen any new, you know, inquiries or anything like that.

On the contrary, we hope that this is going to help to bring closure," Blake told foreign reporters in response to a question.

Responding to a specific question on the Bhopal gas tragedy and the court's decisions, Blake said this is an internal matter of India.

Responding to a similar question at another news briefing, the State Department spokesman, PJ Crowley said: "This tragedy happened 26 years ago, and it was a terrible tragedy, one of the worst industrial accidents in human history, and we certainly hope that the verdict brings some closure to the families of the victims of this tragedy."

Crowley hoped that this particular case "does not inhibit - or the continuing expansion of economic, cultural, and political ties between the two countries."

"We fully expect that this will not be the case," he said.

"The Indian Parliament will have to make judgement on the nuclear liabilities bill, but this criminal case should have no relation to the liability legislation currently before the parliament," Crowley said.

Nearly 26 years after the world's worst industrial disaster left more than 15,000 dead in the Bhopal gas tragedy, former Union Carbide India Chairman Keshub Mahindra and six others were yesterday convicted and sentenced to two years imprisonment in a judgement that came under attack from civil rights activists and parties.




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