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Feb 27, 2012 at 09:55pm IST

Dow asked US firm Stratfor to spy on Bhopal activists: WikiLeaks

New Delhi: Whistleblower website WikiLeaks on Monday claimed to have in possession 'millions' of Stratfor mails that establish its links with Dow Chemicals, one of the prime accused in the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster. Stratfor is a US-based intelligence firm.

WikiLeaks alleged that it had proof that Stratfor monitored and analysed online activities of the Bhopal activists, reportedly on Dow's asking.

One of the activists, Rachna Dhingra said that she was not surprised at the expose. "We are not suprised. Dow Chemicals is a dirty company. Spying seems to be just one of its measures."

The e-mails date between July 2004 and late December 2011, WikiLeaks said.

"They reveal the inner workings of a company that fronts as an intelligence publisher, but provides confidential intelligence services to large corporations, such as Bhopal's Dow Chemical Co, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and government agencies, including the US Department of Homeland Security, the US Marines and the US Defence Intelligence Agency," WikiLeaks alleged.

Stratfor, meanwhile, released a statement saying, "Having had our property stolen, we will not be victimised twice by submitting to questioning about them."

The website of this Texas-based organisation said that it was offering all its contents for free.

"I wanted to warn you that individuals continue to send out false communications that appear to be from Stratfor. These spam emails may contain malware and attachments, and may attempt to lead you to websites that look like our own. They may also attempt to convince you to provide your private information," says Stratfor CEO George Friedman on its website.

The e-mails posted by WikiLeaks on its website, revealed that Stratfor not only provided to Dow Chemicals and Union Carbide the analysis of the daily developments on the case related to the Bhopal Gas tragedy in Indian courts, but also the activities including the travel plans and like where they are staying or what they plan to do.

The Indian government on Monday lodged a formal complaint against Dow's sponsorship of London 2012 Olympics with the Union Sports Ministry writing to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The Union Sports Ministry strongly protested over the sponsorship.

"A false campaign has been launched by the Dow Chemical's saying that matter has been settled. It is not correct. The case is still pending in the court and no final compensation has been made. It is IOA's considered opinion that Dow Chemical's should be removed as the sponsors of the Games," the letter, written by IOA Acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra to IOC President Jacques Rogge said.

The IOC, however, maintained that Dow Chemicals was not responsible for the Bhopal gas tragedy as it had no ownership stakes in Union Carbide till 2000, adding that they appreciated the concern of the IOA for the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy.

In a letter to IOA acting President Vijay Kumar Malhotra, IOC chief Jacques Rogge said that "IOC recognises that the Bhopal tragedy in 1984 was horrific event for India and the world. The Olympic Movement sympathises with the grief of the victims' families and regrets the ongoing suffering people face in the region."

Meanwhile, the IOA has said that India will participate in the London 2012 Olympics and a decision on the kind of protest will be taken later.

Speaking on the issue, VK Malhotra, the acting president of IOA said, "We are still protesting… we will decide on the form of protest. It will hurt the players who have qualified if we tell them that they are not going."

Later, IOA secretary Randhir Singh said that India will participate in London Olympics, adding, "How India will participate, with protest or with no protest, that is something that has to be looked into."

With additional information from PTI

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