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Vedanta bosses clash with protestors over pollution and human rights

Board of Indian mining company faces barrage of hostile questions at annual meeting

Source:  Copyright 2011, Guardian
Date:  July 27, 2011
Original URL: Status ONLINE
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Anger erupted inside and outside Vedanta's annual meeting on Wednesday as campaigners protested against the mining company's environmental and human rights record.

Scores of people picketed the building where the gathering was being held in London and chanted slogans against the firm, which has been at the centre of a row over corporate social responsibility.

The board, led by Anil Agarwal, whose family control 62% of the shares, faced a barrage of hostile questions from shareholders and representatives of lobby groups. More than 13% of shareholders failed to back the remuneration report, while more than 7% voted against the re-election of head of the firm's health and safety committee, Naresh Chandra.

The proceedings were ill-tempered, with heated exchanges between executives and investors. At one pointsecurity men had to restrain an investor who wanted to hand directors leaflets about an accident at a Vedanta operation in Goa.

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