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HRD Attack

16 Aug 2023

Dhanful Majhi - Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (NSS)

Incident date
16 Aug 2023
Date accuracy
All Correct
Dhanful Majhi
Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (NSS)
Environmental concerns group, Indigenous peoples
Arbitrary detention
Target: Individual
Location of Incident: India
Vedanta Resources Limited United Kingdom Mining, Oil, gas & coal, Metals & steel
Adani Group India Natural Resources: General, Energy, Renewable energy, Solar energy, Wind energy, Utilities: General, Mining, Oil, gas & coal, Water companies, Food & beverage, Real estate sales, Construction, Road-building, Shipping, ship-building & ship-scrapping, Airports

Vedanta Resources Limited

Company Response

Adani Group

Company Response

Hindalco (part of Aditya Birla Group)

Company Response
Other actors


On 16 August 2023, human rights defenders Dhanful Majhi, Sitaram Majhi and Anil Nayak, leaders of the Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (NSS), were arrested by District Police on their way from Rayagada to Bhubaneshwar. They were allegedly subjected to mistreatment and torture by the police in custody. NSS is led by the members of the affected communities who have been organising themselves for two decades against bauxite mining in Odisha, including proposed projects by Vedanta Resources, Adani Group and Hindalco. In April 2024, the Resource Centre invited Hindalco Industries, Vedanta Resources, and Adani Group to respond to its "People under pressure: Human rights defenders & business in 2023" report, which includes information about attacks on HRDs opposing bauxite mining in Odisha. All three companies responded and denied the allegations.

Since August 2023, members of the NSS have been disappeared, arbitrarily detained and have been victims of police raids. This includes the abduction of Krushna Sikaka and Bari Sikaka on 5 August, and the accusation of "unlawful assembly" against Ladda Sikaka, Drenju Krushka, Manu Sikaka, Samba Huikia, Lingaraj Azad, Gobinda Bag, Upendra Bag, British Naik and Lenin Kumar for protesting against the abduction of Sikaka and Sikaka on 6 August.