Protests held over opening of wine shops

Residents during protest over opening of wine shop at Prem Nagar area of Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh
Residents during protest over opening of wine shop at Prem Nagar area of Jammu on Tuesday. -Excelsior/Rakesh

Excise Deptt, liquor mafia hand in glove: Residents

*No NOC obtained from people
Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, June 1: Residents alleged that Excise Department and liquor mafia are having hand in glove as former has failed to obtain No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the people living in the areas, where the wine shops are to be opened.
Residents alleged this during protests in different inhabited of the Jammu City here today.
Amid slogans against the Excise Department and the administration, a large number of people including shopkeepers assembled at Canal Road and held protest.
While talking to the media persons, Yogesh Dubey President Canal Road Traders Association said that by opening wine shops, the administration is harassing common people.
“Wine shops are being opened in residential areas, near temples, near schools and other sacred places without obtaining No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the people, which is not justified. This clearly shows that Excise Department is having hand in glove with the liquor mafia and are hell bent to ruin the future of the younger generation”, he added.
“If Government wants to open the wine shops than the same should be opened on highway or some isolated places, where there is less public movement”, Dubey added.
Dubey appealed to the people to come on one platform and hold protest aggressively so that no wine shop is being opened in the residential areas and near sacred places including temples.
Here in our area at Canal Road, the wine shop is being opened near medical store, colleges and tuition centres, which we don’t allow at any cost, another protestor said, adding that opening of wine shop will create nuisance in our area and the people especially women folk will suffer. “Why NOC obtained from the people before opening of wine shops in residential areas”, he questioned?.
Similar protest was also held at Prem Nagar, wherein the residents also demanded shifting of wine shop from their area to some other non-residential place.
A large number of people including women assembled at Prem Nagar near Jogi Gate, held protest and raised slogans against the administration for promoting liquor sale in the City of Temples.
“Wine shop is being opened just at a walking distance of cremation ground, church, graveyards, etc. It is not justified to open the wine shop near these places”, Aijaz Ahmed, a resident of Prem Nagar said.
There are commercial areas where the administration can allow opening of wine shops, he said, adding that opening of wine shop in our residential area is not acceptable to the people.
Meanwhile, residents also protest at Pacca Danga, which was joined by some leaders including Vice President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) J&K Yudhvir Sethi and Corporator of the area. The residents in one voice said that they will not allow wine shop to open in their area.
While speaking, Sethi said that Excise Department should not open the wine shops in the areas, where people have objection. “Excise Department should take decision regarding opening of wine shop according to the law. “BJP is with people and will not allow the wine shops to open in their areas, where masses have any objection”, he added.
However, Mission Statehood and Jammu West Assembly Movement led by its President Sunil Dimple also held protest against opening of liquor shops in Jammu West constituency. He threatened mass agitation if wine shops are opened in Jammu West constituency.
He appealed to the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha to put a blanket ban on sale of liquor in Jammu.
Among others present were Manjeet Anand, Harbans Tandon, Satpal, Anmol, Rupesh Bhat, Vijay Kumar, Om Parkash, Ajay Kumar, Dev Raj, etc.
The protesting people at all the places have demanded that the Lieutenant Governor should intervene into the matter and direct the concerned department to reallocate the wine shops to some other non-residential areas.
Councillor Ward Number 5 of Kathua Ashok Sharma said that he will not allow wine shop to open in his ward. “If it is necessary to open wine shops, than open the same in some khad but not in residential areas”, he added.