WATCH: Anti-Adani protesters invade pitch during India-Australia ODI, appeal to SBI to ‘bowl out Adani loan’

Two protesters holding placards which read ‘State Bank of India: No $1 BN Adani Loan’ made their way into the field on Friday while the match was under way

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

NH Political Bureau

The growing public sentiment against Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani in Australia came to the fore at Sydney Cricket Ground, where the first ODI between India and Australia was being played, on Friday when two protestors holding placards which read “State Bank of India: No $1 BN Adani Loan’ made their way into the field.

One of the protesters carrying a placard even managed to invade the pitch. Both were later escorted out of the field.

“Millions of Indian taxpayers who are watching the first game of the Indian cricket tour have a right to know that the State Bank of India is considering handing their taxes to a billionaire’s climate-wrecking coal mine,” a statement from the Twitter handle of ‘Stop Adani’ campaign read.

A Sydney-based sports journalist claimed that a large number of protesters gathered near gate E outside the stadium.

The Australian protesters called on the State Bank of India (SBI) to review its decision to provide loans worth $1billion to Adani Group for its Carmichael coal mine project in Australia.

Protesters alleged that the loan would amount to handing over Indian taxpayers’ money to Adani to dig a coal mine, which no bank in the world has so far been willing to fund.

A spokesperson of the ‘Stop Adani’ campaign, Manjot Kaur, who is a university student and former school striker from the central west coal region in NSW was quoted as saying by the media that the SBI needs to ‘bowl out’ Adani’s loan and ‘swing the bat for a safe future for Indians’.

“Cricket is India’s most loved game, and as millions of Indian taxpayers watch the match today, we are letting them know that the State Bank of India is at risk of handing their money to a billionaire to dig a polluting coal mine in Australia. If you have ever been to an Indian cricket game, you will know that people of India are proud of their country and their sport. We want to make sure that Indians can be proud of their State Bank too,” said Kaur.

Another ‘Stop Adani’ spokesperson said, “We need to come together and stand in solidarity with Indian communities battling climate change and coronavirus, to pressure the State Bank of India to rule out funding Adani. India’s climate cannot afford destructive and polluting new coal projects.”

The ‘Stop Adani’ campaign claimed that over 89 companies have now committed to not support the controversial project.

Adani Group has been forced to self-finance the Carmichael coal project after failing to secure finance from private companies, the movement claimed.

In 2014, after Narendra Modi-led NDA came to power, both SBI and Adani had signed an MoU regarding a $1 billion loan. However, following an intense controversy over the Carmichael coal mine project, the SBI walked away. But now, reports say the SBI has agreed to offer Rs a Rs 5,000 crore loan to Adani’s Bravus Mining after concerns related to the project were addressed.

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Published: 27 Nov 2020, 6:58 PM