MENDHAR, Feb 24: The people from Mendhar town and some adjoining villages like Darana, Kalaban and Ari today held protest demonstration against the opening of liquor bar and restaurant in the town here and blocked Mendhar-Jammu road for about three hours.
A large number of people of the town and also from the adjoining villages, led by Imam of a local Masjid, Mufti Haq Nawaz, assembled at main chowk Mendhar at around 10.15 am and started protest demonstration. They blocked Mendhar -Jammu road by raising barricades and started protest dharna shouting slogans against local Administration and District Administration, Poonch and the police.
The people alleged that a bar and restaurant has been opened in violation of standing norms. Despite the directions from the Deputy Commissioner Poonch few months back, it has again been made operational with the support of local administration/ police. The people alleged that it has been allowed to operate adjoining a religious place and a school.
The movement of vehicles was disrupted for about three hours and a massive traffic jam was created in the town. SHO Mendhar rushed to the site but the people refused to lift dharna from the road. They continued their strong protest demonstration.
Later, SDM Mendhar, Rahul Yadav and SDPO Shahid Nahiem reached the spot and they talked to the agitating people. The people demanded that DC should come himself to give assurance and then they will lift dharna because his order is being violated here. After the direct talk of the Imam with the DC on phone from the dharna site through SDM, the people then lifted dharna. The DC assured that by March 7, the operation of the bar and restaurant will be stopped.
The SDPO when contacted said that the case is pending in the High Court and they are operating on the court directive. The Police has no role into it. The owner has been given license by the State Excise Department and he is paying license fee to the Govt. The matter has to be decided at the higher level, the SDPO added.