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Protests at GVK AGM in Hyderabad against Coal Power Plants

Published by MAC on 2013-08-15
Source: National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM)

There is a 2 minute video of the arrests of activists at this event on Facebook

NAPM and others protest at GVK AGM in Hyderabad against Coal Power Plants

National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) press statement

12 August 2013

Hyderabad, India - Tens of activists and concerned citizens from, IYCN, NAPM, ARPF in Hyderabad gathered outside the GVK Annual General Meeting (AGM) today to urge GVK and its investors to stop dirty coal imports from Australia and to raise alarm against their dangerous investments in Australian coal. The meeting was attended by majority and minority shareholders in the company who need to be informed of the company's bad choice to invest in Buying Coal Mines in Australia.

The Indian Context: While on the one hand GVK's alpha coal project (a combination of coal mines, ports and railway lines) stands right in the center of the Great Barrier Reef heritage area, one of the most eco-sensitive parts of the world; the very extraction of coal is going to increase the Global warming and create greater havoc in an already trouble ridden Climate patterns of India. Which shall face the added burden of the dangerous pollutants like Mercury, Sulphur di-oxide, Radiation (by release of radioactive elements in Coal ore), due to the use in Coal Based Thermal Plants. And all this will increase the troubles faced by the farmers of India, due to erratic climate - unprecedented Floods - like the one seen in Uttarakhand recently and perpetual droughts and acid rains to name a few. The presence of Coal mines and Coal based thermal power also impacts the health and DNA of future generations leading to nervous disorders, genetic mutations to name a few. In India and other parts of Northern Asia lakhs of people are dying prematurely every year from coal pollution.

In this context, concerned citizens and activists belonging to, ARPF, NAPM and IYCN gathered in front of the Venue of the AGM of GVK at Srinagar colony today morning at 10am. They were displaying posters showing the ill effects of Coal mining and Coal based Power and were distributing pamphlets to the Share Holders.

The activists held out images of the impacts of coal pollution in India and pictures of their counterparts in Australia who urge GVK to rethink its investments and avoid coal. They also held out solar panels as a symbol of the energy investments that GVK and other energy/infrastructure companies should move towards.

This was done without any kind of noise or any kind of disturbance. However, within half hour, the Police of Banjara Hills PS, gathered there and started telling people to move out saying that they cannot organise any such protest. When Chaitanya Kumar, of and others tried to explain to the Inspector Murali Krishna that they are not going to disturb nor cause any inconvenience to anyone, but will only be distributing hand outs to make the shareholders aware of the issue, the Inspector said, "You are talking too much, I am trying to explain to you not to hang around here". Saying thus, he ordered the people to get into the Police Jeep and leaving the women out, took everyone else into custody at the Banjara Hills Police Station.

This is a situation of Gagging Public Voice and Stamping out all Truth to be heard by one and all. This is a reflection of how corporates are controlling the "Indian Democracy".

Saraswati Kavula

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