Indians greet Obama with protests
Sat Nov 6, 2010 7:17PM
Peace activists in different states of India have staged massive protests against US President Barack Obama's visit to the country.
The protests come as the US president has embarked on a three-day visit to boost business with India.
In reaction to the visit, victims of a toxic tragedy in the city of Bhopal held a sit-in, demanding compensation for the fatal incident.
More than 500,000 people were exposed to toxic gas after 40 tons of deadly chemical leaked at the Indian subsidiary of the US Corporation Union Carbide on December 3, 1984.
Around 5,000 people died in the immediate aftermath, and some 15,000 more died in the weeks that followed.
Many have suffered life-long chronic illness as a result and many children have been born with birth defects 25 years after the world's worst industrial disaster.
The protesters are also demanding President Obama take action against the Union Carbide and Dow Chemicals for breaching the law for many years.
People also gathered in the eastern state of Orissa, protesting against President Obama's presence in the country, arguing that he has been unable to maintain peace in developing countries.
Meanwhile, the Kashmir Action Committee staged a demonstration in Pakistan's Lahore, calling on the US president to take a strong stance against the Indian government's crackdown on the Kashmiris.
More than 100 people have been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir since June, when the residents began holding anti-India demonstrations.
President Obama's decision to spend three days in India, while bypassing Pakistan, has also come under fierce criticism.
A Washington Post report said that the move has sparked anxiety among government officials in Islamabad due to fears that the US president's visit could likely upset the delicate balance of power between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.