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Bhopal Disaster Victims Press for Toxic Waste Cleanup

Six activists representing the victims of the Bhopal industrial disaster have gone on an indefinite hunger strike to press for a cleanup of toxic wastes left by the 1984 gas leak.

They are camping in New Delhi, saying the Indian government should force Dow Chemical Company to clean up the disaster area in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

The pesticide plant from where the toxic gas leaked was owned by Union Carbide, which now is a subsidiary of Michigan-based Dow Chemical Company.

Dow Chemical says it is not responsible for the cleanup as it never owned or operated the plant. The state government of Madhya Pradesh now owns the abandoned plant.

The fumes immediately killed 3,500 people and the government says the toll has since climbed to more than 15,000. Activists say the death toll is twice that.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters and AFP.