IOC snub of not removing Dow Chemicals as Olympics sponsors unacceptable: IOA official
New Delhi, Feb.16 (ANI): Indian Olympic Association (IOA) vice-president Tarlochan Singh on Thursday criticised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decision to allow Dow Chemicals to remain the sponsors of the 2012 London Olympics, inspite of their indirect link to the December 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.
Speaking to ANI, Tarlochan Singh said: "We have received a letter from the International Olympic Committee.They have made a wrong decision and they will have to reconsider it. This kind of decision will hurt the sentiments of people. We will take up this matter in our next meeting."
He was reacting to the IOC's statement that while it appreciated the IOA's concern for the victims of 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, it maintained that Dow Chemicals had no ownership stakes in Union Carbide till 2000.
The IOC also said that its relationship with Dow Chemicals is well over 30 years and "we were aware of the Bhopal tragedy when discussing the partnership with Dow".
The IOA has repeatedly expressed its opposition to Dow Chemicals being one of the sponsors for the London Olympics, because of its ownership of the infamous Union Carbide which was responsible for the worst industrial disaster in India.
The IOA had urged the IOC and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) to withdraw Dow as the sponsors of the games.
The Bhopal disaster occurred on the night of December 2-3, 1984 at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
A leak of methyl isocyanate gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of hundreds of thousands of people.
Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259. The Government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate that 3,000 died within weeks and another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. (ANI)
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