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India’s Bhopal protest turns violent

India: Thousands of survivors of the world’s worst industrial accident have blocked trains and clashed with police in India’s central Madhya Pradesh state to demand more compensation.Police attacked the protesters with sticks and tried to clear the railway tracks in Bhopal city on Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

Protestors pelted police with stones and burnt four police jeeps and several motorcycles in the skirmish that followed. Several people, including a police superintendent, were injured in the scuffle.The protesters shouted slogans like “We want compensation,” and said Indian government accepted far too little in 1985 in a 470-million-dollar settlement.

Indian government is seeking an additional 1.7 billion dollars for victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy from the Dow Chemical Company.The protest came on the 27th anniversary of the chemical disaster in Bhopal, where a large volume of toxic gases leaked into environment following an accident in Union Carbide pesticide plant.

The chemical disaster killed an estimated 15,000 people, and maimed tens of thousands more.The Dow Chemical Company purchased the Union Carbide Corporation in August 1999.Meanwhile, Bhopal activists and survivors are calling for Dow Chemicals to be dropped as a sponsor of the 2012 London Olympics.

At least 21 Indian Olympic athletes have urged the organizers of the London Olympic Games to end Dow’s sponsorship.

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