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24 Sep 2021

Sumedha Pal, NewsClick

India: Adivasis and Dalit farmers opposing Hindalco bauxite mining denounce death threats

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"Odisha Tribal Activists Opposing Hindalco Bauxite Mining get Death Threats", 24 September 2021

The Adivasis and Dalit farmers of Odisha have been resisting bauxite mining at their sacred shrine of Mali Parbat for more than two decades. Spanning across 270 acres, the Mali Parbat mine is in Koraput district, in south Odisha. The 2007 mining lease of Hindalco Industries expired after it operations were halted due to the tribe’s stiff resistance. In April, the company’s lease was extended by 50 years and it applied for fresh environmental clearance.

Activist Sharanya Nayak ... [alleged] that “company officials or people hired by them are threatening and singling out the activists who had opposed the public hearing and mining” ... “One such activist, Abhi Sadepelli who is secretary of the Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, and his wife were threatened that they would be killed if he does not support mining in the region. The activists have registered police complaints against the ongoing death threats.”

... Hindalco failed to mine bauxite till 2011 and its environmental clearance expired. However, it started illegal mining in 2012-2014 without an environmental clearance, which was resisted by the tribe. Locals allege that neither the company nor the state government have clearly explained the adverse impact mining to the villagers...