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Attacks on liquor vends continue in western Uttar Pradesh

At some places women damaged liquor cartons in front of patrolling cops and set fire to the shop, while at other places women continued with their soft protest of singing ‘bhajan’ and ‘keertan’ outside the liquor shop where they had earlier installed a deity’s picture.

lucknow Updated: Apr 06, 2017 15:02 IST
Lucknow, Hindustan Times
liquor,Women-led protests,Meerut
A liquor shop was set ablaze in Lisari village of Meerut on Wednesday. (Ashish Kumar / HT Photo)

Women-led protests against liquor shops continued in different districts of the region for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday. In Lisari village in Meerut district, people took to streets and attacked a liquor vend. Women damaged liquor cartons in front of patrolling cops and set fire to the shop. Later, additional force arrived at the place and controlled the situation. A case was registered against 19 named people, including five women, and over 300 unidentified persons in the matter.

In Baraut town of Baghpat district too women staged protest against a liquor vend that was relocated to Chaprauli Road after the Apex Court order on alcohol shops being removed from highways. Angry protesters beat up the salesman and stripped him of his clothes. Cops struggled to protect him from their wrath.

Meanwhile, in Madhavpuram locality of Meerut , women continued with their soft protest of ‘bhajan and keertan’ (devotional songs) outside the liquor shop where they had earlier installed a deity’s picture. A similar protest took place outside a liquor shop on Court Road of Moradabad, where protesters installed a statue of Goddess Durga.

Women also led agitations against liquor vends in Saharanpur,Amroha, Hapur, Muzaffarnagar, Moradabad, Garhmukteshwar and other areas of the region. In Sawalpur Nawada locality of Saharanpur, an alcohol shop was set ablaze, while protests near the RTO office in Amroha led to stone pelting.

Most protesters blamed liquor shops for ruining their families. They said that the men of the households were spending their hard-earned money on alcohol, leading to financial crises in families. Many also demanded a state-wide liquor ban on the lines of what happened in Bihar, saying that it would help protect their children’s future.

People protesting during the drive against liquor shops in Aligarh on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

In Aligarh protesters, mostly women, destroyed wine shops and set some of them ablaze. In some cases, they even assaulted salesmen after chasing them.

Women gheraoed a local wine shop on Kishanpur tri-crossing under Kwarasi police station and ransacked it. They also pelted the salesmen with stones. Due to stone-pelting, there was chaos at the crossing, affecting both pedestrian and vehicular traffic on Ramghat Road. Later cops pacified the protesters.

Inspector Shri Prakash Chandra Yadav told HT , “The wine shop owner Zakir Ali has lodged a complaint against some people, including women for damaging and ransacking his shop, apart from looting R1.5 lakh “. The inspector said the women had been identified and would be arrested soon.” Wine shops on Trunk Gate (Qasimpur) were also not spared.

Wine shop contractor Rakesh Sharma told HT, “Some women have been identified . We have submitted a written complaint in Kwarasi police station against them.”

Read more: Protests turn devotional with portraits of deities outside UP liquor shops

First Published: Apr 06, 2017 15:02 IST