New Delhi (Sputnik): At least one villager was killed while over 40 injured as a major clash erupted on Monday between villagers and Vedanta Resources — one of the world's biggest mining companies — in the eastern Indian state of Odisha.
The local administration has told Sputnik that villagers were protesting outside of Vedanta's Lanjigarh factory used for aluminium processing. They were seeking jobs in the factory. The situation spiralled out of control and the factory's security personnel had to resort to violent measures to control protesters. The people involved in the protests had earlier lost their land to the mining firm.
Tribal residents and villagers have been fighting against mining in the region since 2004 when Vedanta set up a pit-head alumina refinery at Lanjigarh. Despite massive protests, environmental laws deing violated and tribal consent was not being sought before mining by the company commenced ioperations in Niyamgiri hills. In 2013 the Supreme Court of India gave a clear direction that mining clearance can only be given if local people agree to the project — a verdict that was hailed as a first of its kind. A referendum was conducted in the region and all 12 villages selected by the government had voted against the project.