Agitated over opening of a wine shop in the proximity of schools and religious places on P&T Quarters Main Road in Udayagiri, residents of ward 51 held a strong protest demonstration and demanded the closure of the shop, citing anti-social behaviour and harassment from drunkards reported earlier.
Hundreds of men and women joined the protest and raised slogans against the opening of the shop which they claimed will have adverse impact on the population which mostly consists of minorities and dalits. The area also has three schools within a short distance from the shop.
Speaking to ‘City Today,’ Ward 51 Corporator S Swamy said that despite his continuous pleas to the District Administration, Police Commissioner and concerned authorities against the opening of any wine shop in the area, the excise department has given licence to open the shop. The very shop was functioning on Sayyaji Rao Road and is being shifted to P&T Quarters-Main Road.
Swamy said that he had also requested the building owner Subbanna against renting the shop to a wine store who in return had given an assurance that he won’t. “But, residents have seen li quor bottles being stocked inside the shop.”
One of the protestors Sarala recalled an incident of harassment and verbal abuse which happened 10 years back when a wine shop was functioning in the same building. “There were incidents of harassment against women when Nandini Wine Shop was functional here. It was frightening to walk past the shop as the road usually used to be filled with drunkards in the evening,” she said, adding, “We won’t let a wine shop come up here and destroy our lives.”
“Let the shop be rented out for any purpose but not for a liquor shop,” women among the protestors said and added that if their pleas were not heard by the authorities, they would hurl stones at the wine shop if it is allowed to open. Even as the police reached the spot and tried to pacify the agitators, the latter refused to budge till an assurance was given. Corporators Ratna Lakshman and R Puttalingu B M Nataraju also joined in support of the protesters.