The Church of England joined a growing list of organisations that have disinvested stakes in Anil Agarwal-owned Vedanta Resources casting aspersions on the company’s human rights record.
The Church has sold all of its shares worth Rs 30.8 crore after its ethical investment advisory group (EIAG) said Vedanta has not shown “the level of respect for human rights” that the Church expected. EIAG expressed concerns about Vedanta’s refinery in Lanjigarh, Orissa, and a planned bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri hills.
“After six months of engagement, we are not satisfied that Vedanta has shown, or is likely in future to show, the level of respect for human rights and local communities that we expect of companies in whom the Church investing bodies hold shares,” said John Reynolds, chairman, EIAG.
Campaigners have been claiming the mining operations will damage local ecosystems and displace Dongria Kondh tribe in the Niyamgiri hills.