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Bhopal is an unprecedented human rights tragedy.

NGOs and gas victims' organisations have continued a relentless campaign to pressure the government, Union Carbide India Limited and Dow Chemicals to recognise the fact that compensation means more than just an aid package.

For instance, 20 years after the incident, Bhopal residents remain at risk of poisoning due to toxic material still stocked around the plant. Ground water tests have shown contamination levels hundreds of times higher than World Health Organisation limits.

Union Carbide has questioned the test results, saying there is no evidence of ground water contamination outside the plant when it handed the site back to the state government in 1998.

It is up to the government to end the humanitarian crisis. As Amnesty International urged in a report released to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the tragedy, the authorities need to do an exhaustive assessment of the environmental and medical fallout from the incident. Or it risks creating another generation that will relive December 2-3, 1984 every day of their lives.

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