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6 Nov 2023

India: Alleged violence & intimidation against human rights defenders during public hearing for Vedanta's proposed mining project; incl. company response

During a public hearing on 15 October 2023 in Odisha’s Rayagada district for Vedanta’s proposed Sijimali bauxite mining project, there were allegations of violence, fear, and intimidation against human rights defenders who oppose the project. As many as 21 people have allegedly been arrested and sent to jail for opposing the mining project and that the project is likely to displace 100 families from 18 villages and also affect the livelihoods of an additional 500 families. Civil society organisations had previously petitioned for the public hearing to be canceled given the concerns around police intimidation and the environmental impacts of the project which haven't been adequately discussed.

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Vedanta to respond; their response can be found below.