New Delhi, April 26: Locals in Mau district’s Rastipur village clashed with police on Wednesday over the issue of shifting an alcohol shop from a near-by highway to the village. As per news agency, ANI, the locals who were protesting against this shifting were lathi charged by the police to control them. No injury has been reported yet and more information regarding the incident is awaited.
The issue over which the protestors were protesting seems to be a consequence of the recent order by the Supreme Court which bans sell of liquor within 500 metres of highways. This in a way led to many liquor shop owners shifting their base, and it is then that the liquor shop was shifted from the near-by highway to Rastipur village, which irked the villagers. This led to a bunch of them launching a protest on the streets. However, it is unclear how the police came into the scene and if the protest turned violent. Once more information is available, these questions will be answered.
The Supreme Court ordered the ban of sale of alcohol within 500 metres of highways. This has led to many of the owners and also state governments to find alternative ways to facilitate the sale of alcohol. one such measure by many state authorities is the renaming of many highways to district roads. Chandigarh was the first to implement that. Secondly, many bars and alcohol shops came up with alternate entrances to their establishment, which made them eligible to sell alcohol.
While these unique ways to make use of the loophole of the SC order is good, but in a way it fails to have the impact with which the order was passed. And moreover, in Rastipur’s case, the villager’s protesting over the shifting of the alcohol shop into their village is a sign that people do not want that shop there.
However, there must be a new way to actually balance out this conundrum where on the one hand is the concern of those innumerable liquor shop owners whose business is at stake and the welfare of the society.