The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday said it would not allow the liquor shops to operate in those areas, where the locals are opposing them, even if it results in “loss of revenue”.
“At any cost, we will not allow the the liquor outlets (which shifted from highways following a Supreme Court order) to operate in areas where the locals are opposing, even if it results in loss of revenue to the exchequer,” UP Excise minister Jai Pratap Singh said.
The move come following the protests from various parts of the state by the locals against shifting of liquor outlets in the residential areas after the Supreme Court banned the sale of liquor within 500-metres of the state and national highways.
Meanwhile, in Pilibhit, UP Irrigation minister Dharampal extended his support to the protests against the operation of liquor vends in populated areas of the villages.
Addressing the meeting, he said, “There is no bigger crime than domestic violence being faced by the women.”
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had earlier made an appeal to the people not to take law into their hands during protest against shifting of liquor vends from the highways to populated areas.
The Chief Minister made the appeal while reviewing the situation with the police, excise and administrative officers after some alleged incidents of outburst of people’s anger during protests against shifting of liquor shops to populated areas following a Supreme Court order banning sale of alcohol near highways, an official spokesman said.
“He has appealed to the public to not take law in their own hands and said that the state government respects the public sentiment,” he said.
The Yogi Adityanath government also accused the previous governments of not adhering to the Supreme Court order.
The CM alleged the previous governments had not followed the orders of the Supreme Court and the High Court, and shifted liquor shops from highways to populated areas, which resulted in the “outburst” of people’s anger.
He had also said the government would ensure that liquor shops follow the court orders and directed the officials concerned to ensure that the SC orders are strictly complied with.
The liquor shops should be located away from religious places, educational institutes and populated area as per laid down norms and parameters, the CM had mentioned.
Strict action would be initiated against the outlets, which fails to adhere to the norms, the chief minister said.
Women in Parsiya village in Badaun district today chased away the employees of liquor shops and broke their locks to protest the shifting of the vends in the residential areas.
Director General of UP Police Javeed Ahmed in a statement today said that instructions have been issued to police to ensure that stringent action is initiated against people who vandalise liquor shops, indulge in stone pelting and setting the liquor outlets ablaze.
So far, 94 incidents of liquor shops being vandalised have been reported from the state, and 93 cases have been registered against 676 accused persons. Of this 112 accused persons have been arrested, the statement said.