Orissa mining stir reaches London
Anti-mining protesters, led by fashion icon Bianca Jagger and activists dressed up like the Na'vi aliens in James Cameron's recent blockbuster Avatar, ambushed the annual general meeting of Vedanta Resources in London on Wednesday. Kumkum Dasgupta and Susanta K Mahaptra report.india Updated: Jul 30, 2010 16:57 IST
Anti-mining protesters, led by fashion icon Bianca Jagger and activists dressed up like the Na'vi aliens in James Cameron's recent blockbuster Avatar, ambushed the annual general meeting (AGM) of Vedanta Resources in London on Wednesday.
Vedanta mines bauxite in Orissa's Niyamgiri Hills, 500 km southwest of Bhubaneswar, which the local tribals there oppose, claiming the hill is sacred to them.
This is the fourth year that Vedanta's annual general meeting has drawn protests, but the first that drew a celebrity like Jagger, who is also Rolling Stone's Mick Jagger's ex-wife.
Jagger handed the board of directors a box full of petitions from more than 31,000 people keen to stop the project.
Na'vi' protesters wore blue face paint in an echo of the movie's portrayal of the destruction of an "alien" tribe.
Jagger, who has visited the Niyamgiri site, said: "The Dongria tribals there say no amount of money would make them want to leave the sacred area."
While Vedanta Resources wants to mine the hill and 'develop the backward area', tribals and activists feel that it will displace thousands.
The company denies this.
"There is no habitation in the area, which is hard and rocky," Mukesh Kumar, COO of Vedanta's Lanjigarh refinery, told Hindustan Times.