The former French warship the Clemenceau remains at sea pending a decision by India to allow it into its territory for dismantling. The environmental group Greenpeace says it should not be allowed to dock because of alleged toxic material onboard. India’s Supreme Court has ordered a panel of experts to be set up to examine the question and banned demonstrations and publications on the issue.
Vijay Panjwani, lawyer for the central pollution control board, said: “If people continue to go to the media giving their views about many issuesinvolved in this case, then the court will take contempt of court proceedings against such persons or NGOs.” The Clemenceau left France in December for Alang in Gujarat, the last port of call for thousands of ships from around the world.
Greenpeace, which has been holding daily protests, says the ship contains hundreds of tonnes of toxic material that could damage workers’ health. But France says it has removed most of the ship’s dangerous asbestos, adding that it will take back any toxic waste from the vessel. There have also been loud protests from shipyard employees who say the Greenpeace action is robbing them of work.