Bhopal gas tragedy activist no more

Poisonous gas that leaked from the Union Carbide plant on December 2/3 night, killing over 30,000 and maiming over five lakh people in Bhopal. (File Photo)     

The most indefatigable fighter for the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy, Abdul Jabbar, died of a heart attack in a private hospital here on Thursday night. He led a relentless struggle in courts and on the streets, that resulted in an enhanced compensation to the survivors, construction of hospitals for their treatment and prosecution of the culprits of the world’s worst industrial disaster.

He was the most visible face of the fight for the victims of the poisonous gas that leaked from the Union Carbide plant on December 2/3 night, killing over 30,000 and maiming over five lakh people in Bhopal.      

Jabbar, 63, had been undergoing treatment for the past few months for multiple ailments, including diabetes, heart trouble and gangrene. He had lost 50 % of his vision and suffered lung fibrosis in the Bhopal gas tragedy, besides losing both his parents and a brother.

The tragedy so deeply affected Jabbar that he gave up his job as a hand pump fitter and decided to organise the victims for justice against the Union Carbide.   

Jabbar was the convener of the Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Udyog Sangathan, an organisation that has been working tirelessly for 30 years for economic, social and medical rehabilitation of the survivors.  

The organisation plays an active role in fostering communal harmony, espousing environmental causes and coordinating with civil society groups on various public-related issues.  

On Thursday, the Kamal Nath-led Madhya Pradesh government announced that it would bear expenses of Jabbar's treatment. But before the government could do anything to improve his medical condition, Jabbar passed away a few hours after the announcement.

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