PUCL Bulletin, July 2002

Kerala PUCL:
Police crack down at a anti-Coke agitation
State PUCL General Secretary Vilayody Venugopal and 100 Others Arrested

The Chittoor police arrested over 100 agitators and took vehicle into custody when a peace full public meeting was going on near the Hindustan Coca-Cola factory at Plachimala in Chittoor Taluk in Palakadu district(Kerala) on 9/6/2001 evening. The public meeting was organised by the state PUCL with the help of National Alliance of Peoples Movement in solidarity with the ongoing agitation against the Cola factory by tribals and local people under the leader ship of Mr. B Vilayody Venugopal, State General Secretary PUCL Kerala. Since April 22 an agitation was going on against the factory alleging that the area is facing acute water shortage due to the draining under ground water of the area through bore wells and pollution from the factory waste.

Those arrested included Mr. Vilayody Venugopal, PUCL State Vice President Mr. Sreedharan Therambil, PUCL State Organising Secretary Mr. Suresh George, PUCL Thrissur District President Mr. P.K. Vasu, Earth Society founder Mr. Nilakandan Namboothiry, Dr. Nandakumar, Feminist and Environmentalist Ms. Jyothy Narayanan, National Alliance of Peoples Movement State Coordinator Mr Geo Jose, Velu Swaminathan, Arumugan Pathichgira, Sivankutty, C. Bhanu among others.

Late report: Six Adivasis Hospitalised: Residents of Plachimala colony near Coca-Cola factory were hospitalised due to police brutality and torturing. Those include Ambika (27), Lakshmi (18), Veni (24), Jayalakshmi (23), Vasanthy (29), Lakshmikuttyamma (27) were seriously injured. PUCL sought enquiry into the matter by the SHRC and NHRC on the incident. -- JACOB V. LAZER

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