Environmentalist Bob Brown has warned that Adani’s latest move to arrest an Indian journalist is designed to scare media away from investigating the company’s activity.
A court in Adani’s home state of Gujarat has issued an arrest warrant for investigative journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta in relation to a criminal defamation case brought by Adani.
The Adani Group had pursued the defamation lawsuit following Mr Guha Thakurta’s 2017 article on a ‘Rupees 500 crore [$100 million] bonanza’ Adani received from the Indian government.
Bob Brown said: ‘This is a SLAPP [strategic lawsuit against public participation] writ aimed at both silencing the journalist and sending a shiver of fear through the media to halt any genuine investigation into Adani’s commercial empire.’
Brown pointed out the similarities to Adani’s court case against Australian climate campaigner Ben Pennings, where Adani repeatedly applied for warrants to raid Mr Pennings’ home for ‘confidential information’.
Mr Pennings said he had had contact with Mr Guha Thakurta in the past and was very interested in this developing case.
‘Adani has been attacking journalists and citizen activists for decades,’ said Mr Pennings, who has organised a number of boycotts of Adani by contractors and the public.
‘Yet people continue to expose Adani’s active involvement in corruption, ecocide and even genocide. Adani needs to embrace ethical practices and the new economy before the weight of public opinion in India and beyond sinks them like a stone.’
The coordinator of website AdaniWatch, Geoff Law, said that Adani is clearly spooked by the wave of protest against the group’s activities in India, where communities are opposing pro-corporate farm laws, moves to turn Goa into a coal hub, massive new port developments, and the takeover of indigenous lands for coal plants.