Hindenburg Report brings respite to truckers standing against Adani in Himachal

Truck drivers working for Adani Group’s cement factories in Barmana in Bilaspur district and Darlaghat in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh have been long struggling for a stable livelihood. When Adani decided to close the cement factories in the aforesaid locations after an altercation over freight rates in December 2022, the truckers have been protesting against the ‘unfair’ remuneration by Adani.

As of last week, the truckers refused to stand down and the impasse stood unresolved. In latest news, the Adani Group announced that the issue had been ‘amicably resolved’. The freight rates have been reduced by 10-12 percent. The truckers said that the U.S. short-seller Hindenburg’s critical research report on the giant conglomerate was a godsend that helped them save their livelihoods.

The report “played a crucial role in our battle against India’s biggest business group, helped mobilize truckers and gain political support,” said Ram Krishan Sharma, one of the lead negotiators for protesting truckers. Though the truckers may not form a very large part of how much Adani earns, but for the truckers, the decision made a big impact on their livelihood.

The Hindenburg Research claimed that Adani dabbled in stock manipulation and improper use of tax havens – which the conglomerate called baseless. The Report cost Adani millions of dollars loss in stock market, put Gautam Adani on the 26th position on the Forbes list of richest from the 3rd, and sparked regulatory investigations.

Adani Cements in a statement said it was “grateful” to all stakeholders including the unions, the state’s Chief Minister and other departments, adding the decision was in interest of everyone including the state. Many say that the ‘amicable resolution’ was a result of the building pressure on the Adani Group after Hindenburg released the report, however, the ultimate decision re-open the cement plants gives respite to the trucking community of Himachal Pradesh, ending the 67 day dispute.

“We felt our deity had accepted our prayers when we saw the fall in the share prices of Adani companies,” protest leader Shukla said. “The Hindenburg report was a gift that saved our businesses.”

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