Workers use heavy machinery to sift through coal at the Adani Power company thermal power plant at MundraGetty

One of India's biggest power companies has been accused of attempting to censor a critical YouTube video by an activist group using tactics "almost too dirty to believe".

GetUp!, an Australian online activist group, claim their video which described energy company Adani as having a "record of environmental destruction across the world" was taken down as a result of bogus copyright claims.

The video, entitled Don't trust this company with our Great Barrier Reef, discusses the company's plans to create a coal mine off the coast of Australia in Queensland's Galilee Basin.

The video, which asks whether Adani should be trusted to look after the Reef having had a history of "destroying an environment they promised to protect" was removed from GetUp!'s site by YouTube after a second group, Corruption Tube, claimed they had uploaded the same video onto their site in late 2013 and the group were breaching copyright.

As well as blocking the Adani video from their site, YouTube also downgraded GetUp!'s channel, which limited their ability to share videos, and blocked other videos on their site which sought funding for legal action to help fight the claims.

Paul Oosting, a campaign director at GetUp!, notes that the timing of the takedown corresponds with Adani winning approval from the Australian government to begin working on the Carmichael Coal Mine in the Galilee Basin, estimated to be worth $300bn to the Australian economy over the next 60 years.

GetUp! said in a statement: "A copyright complaint was lodged to YouTube by someone from an obscure website. The website is mostly empty, containing only random pieces of content.

"The website has uploaded an exact copy of our Adani video through a different video provider, back-dated the video to last year, and claimed it as their own.

"The person who uploaded the content and lodged the copyright claim has a very distinctive name, which also happens to be the name of someone who works for an Indian insurance company.

"This same insurance company also happens to be a close business partner with none other than Adani.

"Doesn't look good, does it?"

They added: "It looks like an individual who has a business relationship with Adani set up a fake website, uploaded our video, and launched a copyright action claiming our video as their own. That means the video has been taken down just days after Adani announced it was looking for banks to fund their project."

Adani described the allegations against them from GetUp! as mere "conspiracy theories".

A spokesperson added: "While GetUp!'s focused on spamming people with their conspiracy theories, Adani is focused squarely on delivering an integrated mine, rail and port project that will help deliver more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs in Queensland, billions of dollars of opportunities for small and medium enterprises, and helping prolong the mining boom, in line with the strictest environmental approvals regime on an infrastructure project ever applied in the history of Australia."

A YouTube spokesperson said they do not comment on individual cases, but states in its terms and conditions that videos do get reinstated if they are confident there has been no copyright infringement.

A second video uploaded onto YouTube via NewsAUDaily has yet to be taken down.