BHOPAL: Four days after the gas leak, an army of Indian and foreign media persons waited for Union Carbide Corporation chairman Warren Anderson outside the company’s guest house for nearly eight hours only to learn later that there any had come and gone.
Anderson had flown to Bhopal from Bombay by an Indian Airlines flight to avoid public attention that a company jet would have attracted.
Bhopal’s District Magistrate Moti Singh, SP Swaraj Puri and a posse of policemen met them on the tarmac beside an official Ambassador car waiting for the Carbide bosses. Followed by Singh and Puri in another car, Anderson and his colleagues were taken to the Carbide guest house.
An officer, who was part of the operation, said the team spent anxious moments at the back-gate as the lock refused to open. So, several policemen lifted the entire six-foot-high gate from its hinges to make way for Anderson’s car.
Inside the plush guest-house, an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police, who was waiting for the Carbide top brass, told them they were all under arrest.
Soon a magistrate materialised and read them the charges culpable homicide not amounting to murder (a non-bailable offence), killing of livestock and making the atmosphere noxious.
Even as the news jolted corporate circles around the world, state Chief Minister Arjun Singh received a “mysterious” call, paving the way for Anderson’s release.
Within six hours of his arrest, Anderson was a free man, released on a bail of Rs. 25,000.
He was taken out of the guest-house the way he was brought in by lifting the back gate from its hinges and provided a state plane to fly to Delhi, from where he boarded his private jet for the US after two days.
His property in India : A gas Mask!
Union Carbide Corporation former Chairman Warren Anderson, while leaving Bhopal, after his now famous release from six hour imprisonment on December 7, 1984, left a small memento behind: a gas mask.
When he came out of the Indian Airlines Boeing that had carried him to Bhopal on the morning of December 7, 2010, he was carrying a gas mask in one hand. Apparently, the man did not want to take any chances with the MIC gas that his plant had spewed.
While leaving Bhopal, he quietly left the mask in the car of guest-house through the back door to avoid the media.
Hindustan Times, 11 June 2010