Anti-liquor protests: UP police crack down on violent vigilantes, 114 arrested
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Anti-liquor protests: UP police crack down on violent vigilantes, 114 arrested

Several women, some of whom tried to set shops ablaze, were among those arrested, even as police warned them against indulging in unlawful activities.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2017 13:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow/Kanpur
liquor ban,anti-liquor protest,vigilante
Freedom fighter Chimman Lal Jain under house arrest after he gave call for self-immolation to protest liquor sale in Agra.(HT File Photo)

As self-proclaimed vigilante groups continued attacks on liquor vends across the state, police launched a major crackdown to avert such incidents and arrested at least 114 people, including 21 in Lucknow, in the past 24 hours.

In Lucknow, another liquor shop was vandalised by a group of women in Bazarkhala’s Sanjay Nagar locality on Thursday evening.

The group also tried to set the shop ablaze but was averted by police.

Alok Singh, circle officer, Bazarkhala, said a woman was arrested from the spot and an FIR registered in the matter.

Similarly, 20 more people, including six women, were arrested in four incidents of attacks on liquor shops in Gomti Nagar, Gautampalli and PGI areas.

Manzil Saini, SSP (Lucknow), said 13 people were arrested from Gautampalli, five from Gomti Nagar in two separate cases, and two in PGI case. So far, 29 people have been arrested in Lucknow in two days, she added.

Rahul Srivastava, state police spokesman, said similar crackdowns on self-proclaimed vigilante groups were carried out across the state in which at least 114 people were arrested in around 94 cases registered.

Sharing the zone-wise breakup, he said the maximum (22) incidents occurred in Bareilly zone, followed by 17 each in Agra and Lucknow zone, 15 in Varanasi zone, 13 in Meerut zone, nine in Kanpur zone and two in Gorakhpur zone.

The maximum number of arrests (29) were in Lucknow zone, followed by 24 in Agra zone, 21 in Varanasi zone, 17 in Meerut zone and 11 each in Bareilly & Gorakhpur zone and one in Kanpur.

Srivastava said DGP Javeed Ahmad had cautioned vigilante groups not to indulge in vandalism or any unlawful activities as legal action may be initiated against them.

District police chiefs have been asked to remain alert to avert such incidents, Srivastava said.

Meanwhile, members of the United Liquor Association closed down wine shops in Kanpur indefinitely in the wake of the violent protests.

Members of the association Dharmendra Jaiswal, Ramu Jaiswal and Pratap Rai said the protests posed a serious threat to the lives of their employees and property.

They said the shops would remain closed till the government formulated a fresh policy and provided security to them.

Earlier, 300 out of 720 wine shops in the city had closed down due to anti-liquor protests. Remaining shops were closed on Thursday and 42 shop-owners have even surrendered their liquor licences.

Meanwhile, members of the Uttar Pradesh Vyapar Sangathan have submitted a memorandum to SSP Akash Kulhari and have demanded the closure of wine shops in residential areas.

District excise officer Deshraj Singh said the department had been incurring a revenue loss of over Rs 3 crore every day.

District magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma has ordered videography of anti-liquor protests to ensure action against those indulging in violence.

According to the new government directives, the licences of wine shops will be cancelled if the shops were found running without fulfilling fixed parameters.

First Published: Apr 07, 2017 12:23 IST