Congress owes an explanation!
Warren Anderson, the then chairman of Union Carbide Corp, arrived in Bhopal via Mumbai on December 7, 1984, four days after the catastrophe caused by lethal methyl isocyanate which had ‘leaked’ from the company’s pesticides plant in Bhopal. He was arrested and charged with culpable homicide.
Instead of being taken to the jail, he was escorted to Union Carbide’s so-called R&D centre on Shyamla Hills. Moti Singh, the then Collector of Bhopal, recalls how he was summoned by Brahma Swaroop, who was then Chief Secretary of Madhya Pradesh, and told to arrange for Anderson’s bail and take him to the airport and put him on the State Government’s plane.
According to Moti Singh, "At around 2 pm, the Chief Secretary called the police chief and me and told us to release Anderson and send him to Delhi by plane. Accordingly we went to that place, did the formalities, and he was released on bail and sent to Delhi by plane."
Anderson was granted bail on personal surety of Rs 25,000. He was escorted by senior officials to Bhopal airport where the State Government plane was waiting for him. He was flown to Delhi from where he took a flight to America, never to return to India again to face trial for mass murder by another name.
A former Madhya Pradesh aviation official now says he received a call from the then Chief Minister Arjun Singh's office to arrange for Anderson’s departure. The identity of Anderson was “kept a secret and not revealed” to the pilots of the State Government plane who flew him out of Bhopal on December 7, 1984.
"I got a call from the CM's office that we have to arrange for an aircraft for Delhi flight... Accordingly we arranged the aircraft belonging to the Government of Madhya Pradesh," Captain R S Sodhi, who was the Director of Aviation in 1984, told TV channels on Thursday. According to Sodhi, Bhopal’s Superintendent of Police and Collector Moti Singh “waved to Anderson as he boarded the plane”.
Captain SH Ali, who piloted the plane, said the identity of his passenger was kept a secret and not revealed to him. Ali said Anderson was looking tired and upset. "We got flight information from director R S Sodhi for a flight from Bhopal to Delhi. I was told to keep aircraft ready. I planned it one hour before-hand. We waited for Mr Anderson," Ali recalled. Ali said Anderson came with the Superintendent of Police and Collector of Bhopal.
"It was a one-hour-35-minute flight. We landed in Delhi. An Ambassador car picked him up from next to the plane. I left him with the airport manager," he said. Asked who gave the orders to him to fly out Anderson, Ali told NDTV, "This came from our captain, RS Sodhi. He was our Director -- he gets the information from the Chief Minister (CM) or CM's staff or Secretary to the CM. They pass the order to the Director and the Director passes them to the pilots... Or he himself flies."
What all this adds up to is:
• The Congress Government in Madhya Pradesh, headed by Arjun Singh, colluded with Union Carbide to protect the guilty officials of the company.
• The Congress Government at the Centre, headed by Rajiv Gandhi, could not but have known about Arjun Singh’s extraordinary effort to facilitate Warren Anderson’s flight to safety and beyond the pale of Indian law.
• The Madhya Pradesh Government must file criminal charges against Arjun Singh, have him arrested and made to face trial for colluding with the guilty men of Union Carbide. Does the BJP have the gumption to bring a toxic politician, accused of virtually every possible crime, including corruption, to justice?
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