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Around 50 people gathered outside a recently opened liquor shop in Central Delhi’s Gandhi Nagar area on Friday, protesting that it was illegal. Police deployed a team on standby to avert any untoward incident.
“Residents gathered outside the liquor shop, calling for it to be closed down. They claimed that it had illegally come up. However, we informed them that the shop had the government’s approval and a legal licence. The protesters then agreed to disperse. No force was used,” a senior police officer said.
Police said a few residents had been objecting to the store for the past week. Over the last two days, they were joined by politicians.
“The shop, owned by one Bobby Arora, was opened 10 days ago. We have been living in this area for several years and we cannot allow drunk men to roam around as our daughters and daughters-in-law will feel threatened. We cannot allow this in a locality where respectable people, including government officials, live,” Congress worker Anita Sharma, who was the area councillor for three years, said.
Former MLA from Matia Mahal and Congress leader Shoaib Iqbal said, “The area around the shop has shops on the ground floor, but homes on the first floor. There is a school very close and a temple close by. Residents felt that problems could arise because of the liquor shop. It is also evident that rules have been broken. Before an alcohol shop is opened, permission has to be sought from the MLA and I was not asked about this. I also went to Police Commissioner B S Bassi and conveyed the problem to him. He said he would relay the matter to the government and do everything to prevent a law and order situation.”
“Shoaib ji had joined the protest two days ago and came today as well. We also met the police commissioner who assured us that the matter would be taken care of,” a resident said.