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India seeks to extradite ex-Union Carbide boss over Bhopal

Victims of the Bhopal gas disaster hold a demonstration outside a court in the central Indian city
Victims of the Bhopal gas disaster hold a demonstration outside a court in the central Indian city Reuters

A government minister said Monday that India would renew efforts to secure the extradition of Warren Anderson, the former head of Union Carbide, which is blamed for the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster.

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Anderson was arrested in India but then fled the country. Multiple requests for his extradition on criminal negligence charges have been refused by US authorities, who have shown no sign of changing their tune.

Indian authorities, meanwhile, have been criticised for the slow pace of justice.

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Seven of the Bhopal plant's local managers were convicted this month, 26 years after the incident. They will serve two-year sentences - widely considered as too lenient.

On 2 December 1984, the pesticide plant in Bhopal spewed 40 tonnes of toxic gas into residential areas. Thousands were killed instantly, and tens of thousands died from lingering effects over the following years.

Anderson is the focus of growing anger over the matter in India.

Correspondent Vithram Roy in New Delhi told RFI that US laws do not allow for an individual to be singled out in the case of corporate wrongdoing. He pointed out that in the 1980s, India was seen as an ally of Russia, which translated into strained relations with the US. 

Since then, Roy said, "situations have changed and the Indian government and the US government are rather cosy."

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