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PROTESTERS outside the London Stock Exchange (LSE) have demanded that British mining company GCM Resources (GCM) is delisted for what they called “criminal and fraudulent activities.”
The Phulbari Solidarity Group said today that GCM should be held to account over the shooting of three Bangladeshi teenage boys at a protest 13 years ago over plans for a coal mine.
Today the demonstrators attempted to enter the LSE headquarters to urge its chief financial officer David Warren to delist the firm over the shooting. They also cited the alleged sale of shares in the project, which has yet to start, as cause for delisting.
But they were stopped as scores of police blocked entrances to the building.
A coalition of 12 organisations asked the LSE to investigate and delist GCM over the allegations that they detailed in a letter.
The three teenagers — between the ages of 12 and 19 — were shot dead and 200 more injured at a protest of 80,000 people in Phulbari, Bangladesh, against a proposed open pit mine there.
They had rallied against the plans by GCM subsidiary Asia Energy, which campaigners fear will displace 130,000 people.
Construction is dependent on approval from the Bangladeshi government which had previously shelved the plans following protests.
GCM’s CEO Gary Lye has filed multiple cases against 26 community organisers in Phulbari and Dinajpur, claiming he has felt “harassed” when he visited the area in an attempt to continue his mining plans in 2014.
Nuruz Zaman, a survivor of the Phulbari shooting and a local community organiser, accused GCM of fraud — and raised concerns that the company was selling shares in the project even though it hasn’t yet started.
He blamed the firm for creating “violence which left three killed and 220 injured even before the company was awarded approval for mining in our Phulbari.”
He said: “We halted the mine 13 years ago. But GCM are selling shares in the LSE in the name of Phulbari. They continue to abuse us.”
The letter also claims that GCM is one of a string of LSE-listed mining companies linked to the killing of protesters.
In a statement on its website GCM said it is “committed to developing the Phulbari Coal and Power Project to the highest national and international social and environmental standards.
“By doing this, GCM seeks to maximise the benefits of the Project for both the company’s shareholders and the people of Bangladesh.”
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