Rajkumar Keswani, an acclaimed journalist who had flagged about irregularities that led to the Bhopal gas tragedy much before it actually happened, passed away on Friday, May 23, due to post-COVID complications.
Keswani tested positive for the virus on April 8. He was admitted to a hospital in Bhopal. He returned home after testing negative for the virus on April 20, reported The Indian Express. However, he was rushed to the hospital for lung-related disorders. He was 72. His son told the daily that Keswani contracted the virus after getting the first dose of vaccine. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed his condolences on Twitter.
The Bhopal Gas Tragedy
In 1982, Keswani had written a series of articles in the Hindi newspaper Rapat, flagging about the safety lapses at the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal, the scene of the world's worst industrial disaster two years later. Six months before the actual incident, he had written about a potential disaster. He was a witness in the case.
On December 2-3, 1984, methyl isocynate gas leaked from the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. The official death toll exceeded 5,000. It has continued to scar generations. The Rajiv Gandhi-led government was criticised for not acting tough. Warren Anderson, the then Union Carbide chairman, was arrested when he landed in Madhya Pradesh. But after being held under house arrest for merely a few hours, Anderson posted bail and quickly left India. He never came back. He passed away in 2014.
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