WITH THE Supreme Court shutting down liquor shops near highways, several areas in Uttar Pradesh saw women protesting against such shops being shifted to residential areas. In the last two days, women torched a liquor shop in Hapur while others vandalised another shop in Etah. Demonstrations have also been held in Agra, Firozabad and Bareilly.
In Hapur, women torched a shop in Phoolgadhi area shortly after it opened around 7 am on Sunday. The women assaulted the shop employees and destroyed bottles of liquor before setting the shop on fire.
“The situation was brought under control after a police team rushed to the spot,” said ASP Ramnayan Yadav.
While fire tenders managed to douse the flames, the shop incurred losses worth lakhs. Following this, an FIR on charges of assault, arson, vandalism and rioting has been filed against 20 named and 150 unidentified people, including several women, said Yadav. On Monday, a group of women started a sit-in outside the district magistrate’s office, demanding that the authorities to take back the FIR filed against them.
In Etah, women vandalised liquor shops that had been shifted to residential areas from the highways. Police later managed to pacify the women, assuring them that their demands would be place before the administration. In Firozabad, too, women protested outside liquor shops. Demonstrations were also held in Agra and Bareilly.
As many as 619 liquor shops, which are within 500 metres of national and state highways in six districts of western UP, have been shut in compliance with the Supreme Court order.
Among them, 59 are in Ghaziabad, 46 in Gautam Budh Nagar, 175 in Bulandshahr, 94 in Hapur, 193 in Meerut and 52 in Baghpat.
Of the 277 shops to be relocated, 29 are in Ghaziabad, 25 in Gautam Budh Nagar, 78 in Bulandshahr, 18 in Hapur, 99 in Meerut and 28 in Baghpat.