BHUBASNEWAR, India, Feb 23, 2010 (IPS) – When 5,000 indigenous Dongria Kondhs trekked Sunday to Niyam Dongar hill, the abode of their presiding deity Niyam Raja, and designated it as inviolate, it meant they were stepping up their resistance to a controversial alumina refinery and bauxite mine project here. They carried out religious rituals to Niyam Raja – the sacred dispenser of law, and then put up a totem pole in the area located in Niyamgiri hills in their homeland Lanjigarh, a bauxite-rich hilly area in Kalahandi of Orissa state in eastern India. This was the latest act of defiance here against the backdrop of unrest since 1997 among communities, environmental and rights activists over the 2.13 billon U.S. dollar mining project by Vedanta Aluminium Ltd, the Indian arm of London-based Vedanta Resources Plc.