Protestors target French defunct warship target

3rd January 2006, Comments 0 comments

NEW DELHI, Jan 3 (AFP) - A dozen Greenpeace activists were detained by police Tuesday after a protest at the French Embassy here against a decision to send an asbestos-laden defunct warship to India to be broken up for scrap.

NEW DELHI, Jan 3 (AFP) - A dozen Greenpeace activists were detained by police Tuesday after a protest at the French Embassy here against a decision to send an asbestos-laden defunct warship to India to be broken up for scrap.

The decommissioned aircraft carrier Clemenceau set sail from the French naval base of Toulon Saturday for the world's largest ship-breaking yard in Alang on India's western coast.

A dozen activists from the environmental group Greenpeace converged on the embassy Monday and held up posters and pictures of workers at the shipyard reading: "Clemenceau toxic ship. Stay away. Don't pollute India."

Police detained the group briefly for protesting in the heavily-guarded diplomatic enclave of the capital without a permit.

There was no immediate comment from the French embassy.

Greenpeace says the ship contains at least 100 tonnes of asbestos that could cause serious health problems for ill-equipped Indian workers at the shipyard as well as polluting the environment.

"India is being used as a dumping ground. The French government has taken a very arrogant approach. They have cheated, misled and lied," said activist Ramapati Kumar.

The French government has said that only a small amount of asbestos remains in the warship following decontamination carried out in France.

The Clemenceau, which took part in the 1991 Gulf War, was taken out of service when it was superseded by France's new, nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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