JUNE 27, 2006
Villagers in Mehdiganj in north India are on a hunger strike to demand the closure of the Coca-Cola bottling plant. Community leaders have accused the Coca-Cola bottling plant in of creating severe water shortages affecting over twenty villages, polluting agricultural land and groundwater, illegally occupying land, evading taxes and treating workers unfairly. The hunger strike comes exactly 3 months after the community initiated an indefinite vigil directly in front of the Coca-Cola factory. Community leaders have been frustrated by the lack of action from the government, and have embarked upon the hunger strike to emphasize the severity of the situation facing the communities.
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The Case Against Coca-Cola in Mehdiganj
Kerala government assures proactive action against Coca-Cola
In a major breakthrough for the campaign to hold Coca-Cola accountable, the newly elected state government of Kerala in south India has assured community leaders that the government will take proactive measures against the Coca-Cola bottling plant in south India. Key community leaders met with the Chief Minister, Mr. V. S. Achutanandan, and cabinet members on June 15 and submitted a memorandum outlining their demands, including the permanent shut down of the Plachimada bottling plant, compensation to affected community members and the prosecution of the Coca-Cola company for criminal offences. The meeting resulted in significant commitments from the state government towards resolving the crisis.
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