The Uttar Pradesh government has put a ban on opening liquor shops in and around areas having Dalit population in a bid to prevent them from turning into alcoholics, a senior official said on Saturday.
"No new liquor shops will be opened in areas having Dalit population and the existing shops will be relocated," the official told PTI here, referring to an order passed by the State Excise department.
The directive would be applicable to both rural and urban areas, he said, adding all the District Magistrates have been informed about it.
Citing 'low literacy rates among Dalits' as the reason behind the directive, the official said, "as the literacy level among Dalits is low they easily get addicted to alcohol without fully realising the consequences."
"The objective is to prevent them from turning into alcoholics", he added.
An order issued recently by the Supreme Court also forbids opening of liquor shops within a distance of 50 metres from recognised, aided and government schools as well as places of worship run by charitable organisations.