By Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, Feb 26: Mecca Cola, the soft drink launched in several Muslim countries after the American invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, entered the Hyderabad market on Sunday, just a few days ahead of the visit of US President George W Bush to the city.
Mecca Cola recorded 10 per cent increase in its sales after the cartoon episode in Denmark. Muslim clergy around the world have appealed to Muslims to boycott Danish and American products.
Though Mecca Cola has been in the market since 2002 in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Delhi and Gujarat, the promoters decided to launch the product in Hyderabad taking advantage of Muslim protests against Denmark and the signature campaign against the visit of the US President.
"Mecca Cola's formula is the same in all the Muslim countries. There is no alcohol content or caffeine in the soft drink," M Zafar Shaik Roushan, managing director of Pinch Bottling Company, Jalagoan, told this correspondent.
MIM legislators Afsar Khan and Mumtaz Khan launched the Mecca Cola at a function in the city on Sunday night.
Pakistan launched the "Makkah Cola" in 2003 a year after the product entered Maharashtra in the wake of call by clergy to boycott Jewish and American products. However, Saudi Arabia refused permission to Mecca or Makkah Cola since the product was named after the holiest city of Islam. It also turned down a similar product, Zamzam Cola, from Iran. Zamzam is the name of the holy well near Kaba in Mecca.
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