Vrindavan, 2015.05.03 (VT): The sale of wine in Vraja has become a concern for devotees and tourists visiting the pilgrimage centers of the Mathura District.
On Sunday, the residents of Chaitanya Vihar of Vrindavan stepped up their protest against a newly opened liquor shop in the colony. The protest began with people raising slogans. However the agitation took an ugly turn when people tried to vandalize the shop and threw away the signboard of the wine shop. The shop had recently been given a license by the excise department to operate from the vicinity.
The angry mob torched the illegal wine shop (khokha), which was being run in the vicinity from under the flyover which connects the Mathura – Vrindavan road with Chaitanya Vihar Colony.
The Police officials and the excise officer Sanjay Yadav rushed to the spot and pacified the agitated residents, following which they withdrew their protest. Shri Sanjay Yadav promised that he would consult the district administration to cancel the license of the shop.
The resentment among the residents grew when the excise department gave license to open the shop. The residents protested in the earlier occasion too against the sale and consumption of liquor illegally. Ramesh Yadav the president of the Chaitanya Vihar Welfare Association warned, “If the license of the shop is not cancelled, the agitation may reach to its extreme limit. The excise department and the district administration will be held responsible for it.”
Pradeep Banerjee, a resident of the colony said, “The liquor was being sold illegally in the colony for some time, but when a new shop having a proper license from the excise department is opened, more nuisance will be created here. It will further ruin the sanctity of the temple town.”
Chandra Mohan Jaiswal, the District General Secretary of the Congress Party said that it was unfortunate to open the wine shop in the residential area. Lawyer Narendra Gautam said, “The government is spending a big amount of money in the developmental projects, whereas the district administration is ruining its efforts by allowing the liquor shops to be operated from the temple town.”
Sudhir Shukla, a businessman, said, “The government is trying to develop Vrindavan as a heritage city, whereas the district administration is encouraging people to consume wine.” “How can the heritage and culture of the temple town be preserved with the people consuming liquor,” wondered Shukla.
B. L. Maheshwari said, “The presence of this shop should be removed from the colony at the earliest, as it hurts the religious sentiments. As per the law the liquor shops can’t be opened near the religious places and the schools.”
Ganga Ram Sharma, Vinay Bansal, Anil Jindal, Anand Goswami, KK Pandit, Nityananda, Keshav, Dinabandhu Bhowmik, naresh Chandra Agrawal, Prahlad Chouhan, Banti Agarwal, Vinod Joshi, Narendra Gautam, Devi Singh, Sandeep Bansal, Sukhveer, Jawahar, Rajesh, Kanhaiya Pramod Chauhan, Manoj Agarwal, etc., were present.