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Bhopal tragedy still affects collective conscience: Prime Minister

Mangalore Today

New Delhi: Dec.2: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said he shared the grief of those affected by the Bhopal gas tragedy that occurred 25 years ago and said it "still gnaws at our collective conscience".

"The enormity of that tragedy of neglect still gnaws at our collective conscience," the Prime Minister said in a statement here.

Manmohan Singh recalled that exactly 25 years ago, the country woke up to a terrible tragedy in Bhopal.

"A lethal gas, Methyl Isocyanate (MIC), leaked from the pesticide plant of Union Carbide India Ltd into the atmosphere. The leakage resulted in over 5,000 people losing their lives and many others being incapacitated permanently," he said.

He said the "families that suffered and lost their dear ones can never really be fully compensated.

"However, the government of India has implemented several measures to provide relief to the affected families, including socio economic and medical rehabilitation and improvement in their living conditions," he said.

Manmohan Singh praised civil society groups for pursuing the cause of justice for the gas tragedy victims.

"Here I would also like to salute the civil society groups who have persisted in pursuing justice and compensation to those who suffered," he said.

"Those affected by the catastrophe deserve our continuing support and sympathy. We owe it to our fellow citizens to put in place procedures and precautions to ensure that such a tragedy never occurs again.

"I share the grief of those affected by this horrible incident. I reaffirm our government’s commitment to resolving issues of safe drinking water, expeditious clean up of the site, continuation of medical research, and any other outstanding issues connected with the Bhopal gas tragedy."

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