Several social media users are sharing an image of a group of people on a beach, holding signs that spell out #STOPADANI, claiming it to be of protests against Gautam Adani in Australia. These claims come against the backdrop of a reported massive market rout in Adani Group stocks following the release of the Hindenburg Research report that accused the group of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud”.
The archived versions of the tweets can be seen here, here and here.
Newschecker first ran a reverse image search of the viral photo, which led us to this Flickr page. The photo, dated October 7, 2017 and credited to Gillianne Tedder, was uploaded by Stop Adani. According to the photo’s description, 250 Eurobodalla people came to Congo Beach to demand the federal government halt Adani’s enormous proposed coal mine in North Queensland.
Taking this as cue, we ran a keyword search for “Stop Adani Queensland Congo coal”, which led us to multiple news reports on the protests. According to a Hindustan Times report, dated October 7, 2017, “Large protests were held across Australia on Saturday against Indian mining giant Adani Enterprises’ proposed Carmichael coal mine, which would be the country’s largest coal mine but has been delayed for years over environmental and financing issues. Environment groups say the mine in Queensland state would contribute to global warming and damage the Great Barrier Reef.” According to the Guardian, thousands of people gathered at 40 locations across the country as part of the Stop Adani Alliance.
We came across this #StopAdani website, where it states that Adani’s Carmichael coal mine is probably the most contested and controversial project in Australia’s history. “But as the world races to solve the climate crisis, mining giant Adani is trying to build the biggest coal mine in Australia’s history,” a page in the website read, terming it as the biggest grassroots movement in Australia’s history to stop Adani’s coal mine. The website featured the same viral photo.
We also came across this write-up on the StopAdani website, calling for people to take part in the protest at the Congo Campground, on October 7, 2017. “We’re holding the letters #STOP ADANI with lots of Euro people, wearing black and/or red clothes. Please car pool with your friends and relations to meet at the Congo Campground and then out onto the beach for the photo shoot,” read the write-up.
A relevant keyword search on Twitter led us to this tweet, dated October 9, 2017 by Daniel Doody, a journalist, featuring a similar photo to the viral one, stating “Hundreds protested against the coal mining Adani at Congo Beach, Eurobodalla.”
What is the Adani-Hindenberg row?
The Adani Group reportedly landed in a major controversy after American short-selling firm Hindenburg Research, a forensic financial research company, on January 24, 2023, released a report alleging that the company had conducted the “biggest con in corporate history.” The fallout affected Indian business majors such as the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and investors of the Adani Group companies.
According to Lifestyle Asia, “calling it a ‘maliciously mischievous, unresearched report’, the Adani Group has threatened to seek “remedial and punitive” action in both Indian and US courts against Hindenburg”. Adani Enterprises had last week cancelled its Rs20,000 crore follow-on public offer (FPO), the company said in a regulatory filing. The company will refund proceeds it had received as part of its FPO, which was bailed out largely by corporates and foreign investors.
According to the Mint, amid the ongoing Adani Enterprises rout, the Opposition Congress on February 2 announced it will hold nationwide protests in front of LIC Offices and State Bank of India branches in all districts on February 6.
An old photo of a protest against Adani’s coal mine project in Australia is being falsely shared as a recent stir amid the Adani stocks rout.
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