Annoyed over opening of a liquor shop near girls’ school in the village, hundreds of residents of Rauke Kalan under Nihal Singh Wala subdivision, 42 km from district headquarters, locked a newlyopened liquor shop and held a protest against the contractor concerned on Tuesday.
The angry protesters raised anti-government slogans and warned that if government did not close the liquor shop at the village immediately, residents would boycott the parliamentary elections.
The residents will submit a complaint in this regard to the deputy commissioner’s office on Wednesday.
The gram panchayat and various social and religious organisations alleged that during the past 10 days the liquor contractors had tried to open their shop near Government Senior Secondary School (Girls) at the behest of some local leaders of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal.
Local Congress leader Jaswant Singh Rauke Kalan and block samiti member Sarban Singh said if the liquor shop is opened near the girls’ school it will create a big problem for students. “We will not tolerate such behaviour of the contractors and some political leaders. We will start a strong agitation against the opening of liquor shop,” they added.
Kulwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, a member of the panchayat, said some local leaders are trying to harass residents. “Women of the village have submitted a complaint to the gram panchayat against the opening of the liquor shop near the girls’ school. So, we decided to oppose the move.”
Liquor contractor Amarjit Singh Manuke said, “There is no problem in opening a liquor shop at Rauke Kalan. We will open the shop after discussing the matter with prominent residents and panchayat members.”
Moga deputy commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind admitted that this was a serious matter but nobody has filed a complaint with the district administration so far. “However, I will ask higher officials of the excise and taxation department to examine the entire matter. I hope that the issue will be resolved soon,” the DC added.