On December 16, 2000, conflict over the development of a bauxite mine and alumina plant in the Kashipur region of Orissa in India turned violent with the killing of three innocent tribal people. During a meeting of villagers opposed to the mine, armed police entered Maikanch village and opened fire. Abhilas Jhodia (25 years of age), Raghu Jodhia (18) and Jamudhar Jhodia (43) died, and 8 others sustained serious injury.
The tribal people of the area have been worried about displacement and loss of livelihood ever since the entry of multinational companies exploring for bauxite and intending to process alumina for export. At the forefront is Utkal Alumina — 35% owned by Canada's Alcan. The other major partner is Norsk Hydro. Alcan anticipates that a decision to go ahead with the project will be made in mid-2001.
Alcan has responded to MiningWatch Canada by saying that "This conflict must be resolved in a manner which convinces us that the local community overwhelmingly accepts [the project], on the basis of a free and informed choice...the values we hold dear on environmental stewardship and sustainable development will continue to guide us."
See our Urgent Action for further details.