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Amnesty International seeks probe into kidnapping of activists

Last Updated: Friday, August 13, 2010 - 00:36

New Delhi: Expressing concern over the
alleged kidnapping of two tribal leaders who campaigned
against a mining project by Vedanta Resources, global rights
group Amnesty International has sought a probe into the

The two leaders of an indigenous tribe in Niyamgiri Hills
in Orissa were allegedly taken captive by armed men on August
9 as they travelled to a meeting of campaigners fighting
against the bauxite-mining project.

"This allegation of arbitrary detention and abduction of
activists must be immediately and transparently investigated,"
the organisation said in a press release here.

Though the NGO did not directly name the private firm
behind the alleged kidnapping, it said in the release that the
MNC`s subsidiary Vedanta Aluminium has proposed mining bauxite
in the Niyamgiri Hills, which are sacred to the Dongria Kodh,
an indigenous local community.

"Vedanta strongly refutes and denies such baseless
allegations (of kidnapping)" spokesperson of the company said
when contacted by PTI.

One of the men, Sana Sikaka, was released on Tuesday, but
Lado Sikaka --the senior leader of the Dongria Kodh -- is
still in captivity, Amnesty has alleged.

On his release, Sikaka accused the men who kidnapped his
and his colleague of being plain-clothed police officers, it
further added.

Vedanta, which has a Supreme Court approval for mining,
is waiting for a clearance from the Environment Minister to
start its operations.


First Published: Friday, August 13, 2010 - 00:36
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