Protesters demonstrate against Vedanta mine at Indian High Commission in London
07 December 2012
A group of protesters waving horns, megaphones, pots and pans blocked the entrance to the Indian High Commission in London demanding that the Indian government scrap plans for the controversial Niyamgiri mine in Odisha.
A spokeswoman of the protest organisers said 20,000 tribals and farmers living around the Niyamgiri hills had protested against the mine, in the largest demonstrations held against the mine.
''Simultaneously, judges in the Indian Supreme Court deferred their decision on Vedanta's planned mega-mine until January as Vedanta announced the closure of their Lanjigarh refinery due to lack of local bauxite,'' the spokeswoman had said in a release yesterday.
Last evening, protesters from `Foil Vedanta' shouted slogans at the Indian High Commission, urging the Indian government to put a closure to the long contested bauxite project in the unique tribal region of Niyamgiri.
They demanded that the state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation be forced to pull out of dodgy deals it had struck with Vedanta to force the mine through the courts on behalf of the company.
They called for London's withdrawal of support to the UK registered company accused by Richard Lambert, the former director of Confederation of British Industry of giving the FTSE 100 a bad name.
The protesters demanded that the company be de-listed from the London Stock Exchange and proceeded against in court in Britain.
At one stage during the demonstration, three activists dressed as builders dumped a pile of mud in front of the glass doors of the India High Commission, blocking the entrance even as security guards fumed.
Meanwhile, the Indian High Commission is likely to lodge a protest with British Foreign Office regarding the failure on the part of London metropolitan police part to protect its premises, according to a Times of India report.
Following the incident, the Indian High Commission summoned the London Police's Wing for Protecting Diplomats and sought an explanation in the matter.
According to reports, police were examining the video footage of the incident to identify the perpetrators.