A graffiti attack on the Cliff Rd home of Gujarat NRE Coking Coal executive chairman Arun Jagatramka was caught on camera, police have revealed.
After reviewing CCTV footage, officers are now searching for three men seen outside the home about 4.45am yesterday.
All three were wearing light-coloured jumpers, hooded tops and dark pants.
Two of the men were last seen running west along George Pl while the third, who police say has a ‘‘solid build’’ was seen running south along Cliff Rd.
Anti-mining messages were sprayed across the front fence of Mr Jagatramka’s home, which was only completed late last year.
The scrawl included ‘‘carbon criminal’’, ‘‘I smell a gujarat’’ and ‘‘can’t eat coal, can’t drink gas’’, a slogan used by environmental lobby group Lock The Gate Alliance.
Mr Jagatramka declined to comment yesterday.
Lock The Gate Alliance president Drew Hutton condemned the incident but said it highlighted the emotive nature of mining and the environment.
‘‘Our whole commitment is to non-violent actions and this [graffiti] would be completely inconsistent with that,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s at the less harmful end of unacceptable behaviour but still unacceptable nevertheless.’’
The imposing Cliff Rd home was completed late last year after the site was purchased by the Indian mining company for $5 million in 2008.
It is not Mr Jagatramka’s full-time residence.
In a statement, the NSW Minerals Council, an industry body representing miners, described Mr Jagatramka as a ‘‘leading citizen of the Illawarra’’ making a ‘‘significant contribution to the region’s future’’.
Gujarat NRE operates collieries at Wongawilli and Russell Vale and employs about 600 people.
‘‘Criminal acts like the vandalism that occurred overnight have no place in public debates about key policy issues in this country,’’ the Minerals Council said.
‘‘Once again it appears that the so-called ‘anti-coal movement’ has been overtaken by extremists who are prepared to flout the law to make their point.
‘‘We call upon all members of the community, including those with strong views on the coal industry, to join us in condemning this latest illegal act.’’
Mr Hutton said the use of a Lock The Gate Alliance slogan did not mean a member or supporter was responsible.
‘‘This is an issue that stirs people’s emotions and our job is to try to direct that into productive and non-violent channels,’’ he said.
‘‘We do that wherever we can but there’s always going to be strong emotions and that’s not always going to be possible.’’
The graffiti was painted over by lunchtime yesterday.