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Farmer's body threatens PepsiCo with protests if cases against Guj farmers not withdrawn

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Farmers body threatens PepsiCo with protests if cases against Guj farmers not withdrawn
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New Delhi: Farmers' body, AIKS, Friday threatened PepsiCo India with intense protests if it did not come through on its promise to withdraw a lawsuit against potato farmers and also asked the Gujarat government to come clear on negotiations with the company.

 The food and beverages giant said Thursday it will withdraw the cases it has filed against farmers in Gujarat for allegedly for cultivating a potato variety grown exclusively for its popular Lay's potato chips.

"PepsiCo's expression of intent to withdraw lawsuit against farmers is a significant victory in the struggle for protecting farmers' seed freedoms. However, nothing concrete has been done by them yet in that direction.

"AIKS demands that the company come clear and walk the talk or brace for more intense protests. The Gujarat state government should also come clear on what are the negotiations that it is having with the company," the CPI(M) backed All India Kisan Sabha said in a statement.

It also congratulated the farmers and all organisations and activists who stood against PepsiCo that had filed a lawsuit against 11 farmers fore more than Rs one crore each.

AIKS, which is one of the biggest farmers' bodies in the country, said that the call for boycotting Lays/Pepsi was supported spontaneously by people which put pressure on the company.

"AIKS demands that strong deterrent action against PepsiCo for the harassment meted out to farmers be taken, including exemplary compensation and revocation of license, if the company does not comply with such decision. We also demand an unconditional apology from PepsiCo for such blatant violation of farmers' seed freedoms," it said.

AIKS demanded that the state governments and the Centre adhere to the laws regarding seed rights and freedoms of farmers.

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