Protests by women against liquor shops at their localities in Alwar city are turning violent now. For more than 15 days, these women have refused to allow nine liquor shops to open.
Liqour is a social problem in Rajasthan where recently Kachbali village in Rajsamand district voted to get a mandate on total prohibition on liquor. In Barmer, hooch has claimed 17 lives, including some BSF personnel.
Leader of Gulabi team Prem Lata Sulania vowed to continue the protest till the shops in Dalit areas are closed for good. Womenfolk alleged that the district administration is neither taking the protests seriously nor intervening to prevent clashes.
But district collector Muktanand Agarwal maintained the administration was trying to resolve the tension through dialogue. “On April 12 and 13, ADM Vinay Nagayach, additional SP Paras Jain and DEO Jat held talks with the protesting women,” he said. On Friday, police rushed in to calm nerves when women and a liquor shop owner argued over opening of the shop on 60-foot road. The owner left after the women refused to budge from their stand.
Scuffle broke out a day before between a former councillor, who is with the women in their protest, and the owner of liquor shop at Jai Complex and Andewali Gali area. Women armed with lathis rushed and forced the shop owner to beat a hasty retreat.
Clashes have been reported from Surya Nagar, Diwakari and Multan Nagar when women set ablaze two kiosks from where liquor was being supplied illegally, on Tuesday. Police resorted to lathicharge to bring the situation under control. Several women were injured in the cane charge. On the same day, protesters blocked the Alwar-Behror highway in Dehra village. Traffic resumed only after police intervened. Police registered cases against protesters in both the incidents.
In Alwar, nine shops at Sabzi Mandi Vikas Path, Andewali Gali, Gaiwala Mohalla, Khadana Mohalla, 60-foot road, Road No. 2, Jai Complex and Bhavani Top remain closed due to the anti-liquor protest. District excise officer Babu Lal Jat said location of four shops in Sabzi Mandi was changed because of protests but the women weren’t letting them operate from the new locations.