Indian Olympic body wants Dow removed as London Olympics sponsor

A day ahead of the crucial General Body Meeting of the Indian Olympic Association on the controversial Dow Chemicals issue, its acting president VK Malhotra today demanded the company be removed from being one of the sponsors of the 2012 London Games.

The IOA will meet tomorrow and Friday to discuss how best to convey India's concerns to the London Olympic organisers. There have been countrywide protests after it was announced that Dow was the official sponsor of the games. Dow has bought into Union Carbide, a fim responsible for the Bhopal gas leak that killed thousands.

Malhotra, however, stopped short of calling for an Olympic boycott by India though he had said earlier the country ill affords to do so.

"Olympics are about love, brotherhood and transparency and this company (Dow) is linked with another which was responsible for killing thousands of Indian people. It's

unacceptable that such a company is a sponsor in the Olympics. We will ask the London organisers to remove the company from being a sponsor," Malhotra said.

He said the IOA has written to the Prime Minister and Sports Minister about this, seeking advice for a coordinated response to the issue.

"I have written to the Prime Minister and Sports Minister on the actions they are going to take. We are also taking our own," he said.

Over 15,000 people died and lakhs were disabled in 1984 when gas leaked out of a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal. Dow bought Union Carbide in 2001.

Victims of the disaster, as well as Indian Olympians and officials, have been pressuring the 2012 Olympic organisers to drop Dow as a sponsor.

The United States-based chemical manufacturer will pay for a curtain-style wrap to encircle the Olympic Stadium in east London under a deal announced in August.

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