Markets

Mining group Vedanta rocked by killing of protesters

UK metals and mining group Vedanta Resources is facing harsh criticism after 13 people were killed while protesting a copper smelter run by the company in Indias Tamil Nadu state.

On Tuesday, police opened fire on protesters who were demanding that the smelter in the port city of Thoothukudi be shut down on environmental grounds.

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Officials in Tamil Nadu state are now seeking the plants permanent closure.

“The governments position is very clear, it doesnt want the plant to run,” said Sandeep Nanduri, the top official of the district where the plant is located.

On Wednesday, the Madras High Court halted the copper smelter's expansion, and the following day, local authorities cut power to the plant.

Residents and environmental advocates say emissions from the smelter, Indias second biggest, are polluting the air and water, affecting peoples health.

Vedanta, which is London-listed, has seen its share price tumbled 16 per cent since Wednesday.

Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell has called for the company to be delisted from the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

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"After the massacre of the protestors this week, regulators must now take action,” said McDonnell in a statement.

“Vedanta must be immediately delisted from the London Stock Exchange to remove its cloak of respectability, restore confidence in the governance of the Stock Exchange, and prevent further reputational damage to London's financial markets from this rogue corporation."

The LSE declined to comment and a spokesperson for Vedanta was unable to comment at the time of writing.

Vedanta, which has interests from oil to aluminium, is run by billionaire Anil Agarwal.

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