'SC ruling on Vedanta case a recognition of indigenous rights'

'SC ruling on Vedanta case a recognition of indigenous rights' London: The Supreme Court's ruling on rights of adivasi communities while deciding on Vedanta's demand for development of bauxite mine in Odisha is a recognition of indigenous rights in India, says Amnesty International.

It was reacting to the decision of the court which observed that the "indigenous" (adivasi) communities will have a say on plans for a bauxite mine by a subsidiary of UK-based Vedanta Resources in the Niyamgiri hills of the state.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court had directed that clearance to the venture would be subject to the Gram Sabha deciding the cultural and religious claims of the tribes and forest dwellers of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts.

"The Dongria Kondh community, whose identity is fully dependent on these hills, has been fighting for the survival of their way of life for a decade.

"The mine would have resulted in violation of their rights as Indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to water, food, health, work amongst others.This ruling is hugely important for the Dongria Kondh," said G Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive of Amnesty International India.

PTI