Skip to content

Eight People Convicted on Criminal Charges for 1984 Bhopal Disaster

June 7, 2010

More than 25 years after the world’s worst industrial chemical leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, eight people have been convicted on criminal charges and now face 2-year prison terms and fines. This verdict is the first related to the disaster to come from the notoriously slow Indian justice system.

Since the night of December 3, 1984, upwards of 15,000 – 20,000 people have died following the leak of 27 tons of methyl isocyanate gas that left toxic residue across the vast slums surrounding the plant. Many news outlets are reporting that many individuals advocacy groups are outraged by the light punishments doled out to the former Union Carbide plant workers after so many years. The news was met with outrage on the streets near the courthouse.

Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla (2004) won the Goldman Prize for their advocacy on behalf of the survivors of the tragedy and the generation of children born with severe birth defects as a result of environmental toxins left over from the gas leak. Bee was quoted by the BBC about the verdict, saying, “…justice will be done in Bhopal only if individuals and corporations responsible are punished in an exemplary manner.”

Indian Court Convicts Eight in Bhopal Disaster [New York Times]

Bhopal trial: Eight convicted over India gas disaster [BBC News]

Related Posts

World Oceans Day with Kristal Ambrose


June 8, 2022 – By Jacqueline Kehoe

For Kristal Ambrose, World Oceans Day is every day. A 2020 Goldman Prize winner, Kristal—nicknamed “Kristal Ocean”—rallied her community in the Bahamas to protect the seas, passing one of the most stringent plastic bans to date: the categorical ban of single-use plastics, which account for one-third of all plastic in our oceans. On the frontlines…

Read more

How Grassroots Environmental Activism Has Changed the Course of History


September 1, 2021

Environmental activism is more mainstream today than ever before. In the last several years, activists like Greta Thunberg have become media stars and household names; national news outlets have ramped up their coverage of climate campaigns; and politicians have become increasingly outspoken about how environmental issues affect policy decisions. The surge in awareness of environmental…

Read more

Kimiko Hirata: Stopping the Expansion of Coal Power in Japan


June 21, 2021

By Kimiko Hirata As a climate policy advocate for many decades, I was truly shocked to see the Japanese government and corporations rush to return to coal power following the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear accident in 2011. Japan’s promotion of coal power projects in the midst of a climate crisis clearly indicated that the climate was…

Read more