Indian tribe stands firm as Vedanta mine appeal adjourned
One of the world’s most controversial mines is back in the spotlight after hundreds protested against renewed efforts to mine India’s Niyamgiri Hills.
Dongria Kondh and Niyamgiri supporters held their own ‘public hearing’ in Orissa state, where they restated their resolve not to allow mining on their sacred mountain.
The meeting coincided with a Supreme Court appeal in Delhi, which sought to overturn a 2010 ruling preventing UK mining company Vedanta from building an open-pit bauxite mine in the Niyamgiri Hills.
However, the appeal was adjourned on Monday and India’s Supreme Court has yet to issue a new date for the hearing.
Shortly after the announcement, Indian activist Prafulla Samantara from the National Alliance of People’s Movements, spoke to Survival.
He said, ‘I hope India’s Supreme Court endorses the government’s ruling not to mine in Niyamgiri. This is in the interests of protecting natural resources and tribal peoples.’
Miles away in the Niyamgiri Hills, two years after the Dongria Kondh historically defeated Vedanta, protesters continue to make their position clear.
Dongria elder Dodhi Sikaka said, ‘Those who are fighting for their rights are beaten up and put behind bars. Now all we Dongrias are together in resisting this. We are fighting for our own people, for our ancestral land, for Niyamgiri.’
Survival International’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘By once again postponing this decision, the Supreme Court judges have left a sword of Damocles hanging over the Dongrias’ heads. But on Sunday the Dongria held their own day of judgment – a public hearing at which they vowed to protect their sacred mountain. Whatever the court may decide far away in Delhi, in the Niyamgiri Hills the Dongrias’ decision is clear.’
Related news articles
- India: Mining company targets Dongria’s sacred hills – AGAIN 22 November 2016
- Dongria celebrate recent court victory over mining company 20 June 2016
- Victory for Dongria as Supreme Court quashes new mining attempt 19 May 2016
- Talks begin at last over fate of uncontacted tribe 22 March
- Exclusive: Oil company pulls out of uncontacted tribes’ land under pressure from Survival 15 March
- Organizations denounce Peru government’s failure to protect uncontacted tribes 9 March
- World Wildlife Day: Survival launches boycott of notorious ‘shoot on sight’ National Park 2 March