Vedanta shares tumble after protesters killed – by Amy Kazmin and Neil Hume (Financial Times – May 23, 2018)

Eleven dead after Indian police open fire on crowd objecting to smelter expansion

Shares in Vedanta Resources slumped on Wednesday after police fired into a crowd of local residents protesting against the expansion of its Indian copper smelter.

The London-listed company, which is controlled by billionaire metals tycoon Anil Agarwal and has interests from oil to aluminium, fell 11.5 per cent to 746.8p as investors reacted to the news.

At least 11 people were killed, and scores injured, on Tuesday when Indian police in the southern state of Tamil Nadu shot into the crowd of protesters, objecting to the planned expansion of the Tuticorin smelter and demanding its permanent closure. The unrest continued on Wednesday, when another three people were shot and at least one killed.

Amid outrage over the bloodshed, the Madras High Court on Wednesday indefinitely halted work on the expansion of the copper smelter. The state government has appointed a retired judge to investigate the events, including the protests and what led to the police firing.

Speaking after the release of annual results in London and 12 hours after the shootings in India, Mr Agarwal said it was “really sad to hear about this incident”.

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