Jammu: The Jammu and Kashmir administration’s move to issue ‘The Draft Excise Policy Year 2021-2022’, which proposes an e-auction process for the approval of liquor shops Tuesday evoked sharp criticism and triggered protests in parts of Jammu region.
Eye-witnesses said people from different areas of Jammu district were up in arms against the authorities for giving permission to open liquor shops near educational institutions and religious places.
Locals in Shakti Nagar, Trikuta Nagar Jammu and Gujjar Nagar area staged protests against the proposal of opening new wine shops. The protestors were raising slogans like “Stop drinking, close liquor shops” and demanded cancellation of liquor licenses which are being opened near the residential areas, educational institutions and religious places of Jammu under the new excise policy.
Protestors said that alcohol is the root of all evils, so its sale and purchase should be banned at least near religious places and educational places besides residential areas.
They said that there are schools in Shakti Nagar area and there are temples there too, so why would the administration allow opening of liquor shop in this area, when Jammu is known as the city of temples, but the administration now is hell-bent on turning it into a liquor city. They further said that the youth of Jammu are being lured towards drugs, which we will definitely not allow.
“Liquor stores are opened within every ten meters of the temples, Gurdwaras and Graveyards, cremation ground. This is hurting the faith,” said a protestor, wishing not to be named. “”We want to tell the management that we will not allow a single shop to open here.”
He said that “Our women folk especially school going girls aren’t safe when liquor shops are being opened near educational institutions.”
A woman protestor said that when there would be sale of liquor, then a drunk person won’t understand anything about the chastity of the woman.
“By permitting opening of shops in residential areas, near educational institutions and religious places, government is hurting our faith, playing with our chastity and emotions,” said a group of protestors.
They requested concerned authorities to look into the matter at an earliest so that local can heave a sigh of relief