Protest Letter to High Commission:
His Excellency Shiv Shankar Mukherjee, High Commissioner
High Commission of India
Tel: 020 7836 8484 12 June 2008
We have already informed our network in the UK and will be contacting our international network.
President Bee, the other Bhopali survivors and their supporters were taking part in a peaceful demonstration for justice. But instead of concern for their just cause and for their health, which is already fragile as a result of the disaster, they were beaten at Parliament Street police station (which resulted in at least one teenager needing hospital treatment), and also the girls and women were abused.
Some of the policemen responsible for the beatings are named below in an email from the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal. ICJB also report that when young girls went to the aid of a woman being arrested, plainclothes policeman Mahendra Singh screamed : "In Kaaliyon ke kapde fado" (“Tear the clothes off these blackies!”) – a shocking racist incitement to sexual humiliation and violence.
Further, we understand that the young people still being held were taken to juvenile prison, while 18 adults refused to be bailed as they have committed no crime -- they have been taken to Tihar prison, where three of the women began a hunger strike for their release. We are extremely concerned for their welfare.
The protests outside the Prime Minister’s office in Delhi are the culmination of an extraordinary survivors’ march of 800 kilometres from Bhopal to Delhi to remind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that promises he made two years ago concerning economic, social and medical rehabilitation, and provision of clean drinking water, are yet to be met.
BHOPALIS BEATEN UP IN POLICE STATION
9 JUNE 2008. 11 a.m.
Plainclothes policemen and women and some uniformed police today beat up Bhopal survivors and their children inside the parliament street police station. 16 year old Imran was belted by policemen, including Yad Ram, a uniformed policeman from the Parliament Street police station. The belting has hurt his eye, and he has been taken to the hospital. Other policepersons whose names are known include Suraj Bhan, Mallik (a tall, big-set cop), Mahendra (in plainclothes), and the gun-toting Yad Ram. 27-year old Vikas was set upon by 13 policemen. Irshad, 20, was also beaten up badly. The police did not spare the kids. The youngest padayatri, 11-year old Yasmin, 6-year old Nagma, and 24-year old Meera More were also beaten by the police when they tried to prevent the police from dragging Rachna Dhingra, a padayatri, into the lock-up. Seeing the girls come in aid of Rachna,
Plainclothesman Mahendra Singh screamed: "In Kaaliyon ke kapde fado." (*Tear the clothes off these blackies).*
All the while, the older women were forced into police lock-up.
Since the time that they were picked up from the Prime Minister's Office for demonstrating in a high-security area, senior police officials have talked tough. Callers who spoke to Mr. Nand Mohan, Deputy Commissioner of Police said the top cop said the Bhopalis will have to face the consequences this time. The Prime Minister's silence on the matter of demands has prompted the Bhopalis to protest in front of his house two times.
Mr. Muthukumaran, Director of Public Relations, Prime Minister's Office did not know that Bhopalis were being beaten up at the parliament street police station for a mistake of his boss, the Prime Minister. However, when
intimated about it, he said: "I have heard about it. It is shameful. I have informed the authorities, and we'll see what can be done."
This is not a matter about a few angry policemen. The policemen had nothing to be angry about the Bhopalis. The rot spreads far higher.
With nine Bhopalis, including two women (Rachna and Meera) who are to go on a hunger strike tomorrow, please begin a neend udao.
Call the below people, and demand that a full-blown enquiry affixing responsibility for today's deplorable incident is conducted:
Deputy Commissioner of Police Nand Mohan: +91 9818099041
Assistant Commissioner of Police Gurdeep Singh: +91 981033880
SHO Avinash Diwedi +91 9810046832
Muthukumaran. Director, Public Relations, PMO: +91 9871990019
for more information, visit www.bhopal.net
International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal