HOSHANGABAD: The movement against liquor shops which are being shifted to residential areas following the government decision to close down outlets in the 5 km radius from the Narmada River in the district is turning aggressive by the day.
Meanwhile, the district Congress has objected to the administration adopting double standards on the issue. While the district Congress president was booked after local women staged a chakka jam on the highway to protest a new liquor outlet at Cheechli in Sohagpur block, Speaker Sitasharan Sharma, who was present at the spot when a liquor shop was set afire in Itarsi has been allowed to go scot free. “I demand that a case should be registered against Sharma also”, said DCC President Pushparaj Patel. The Congress workers had a heated argument with Sanskriti Jain, an IAS probationer who is the SDM of Sohagpur. Cases under sections 347 and 147 of the IPC were registered against Patel and others after he joined the chakka jam.
On April 13, around 50-60 women of Khedra area in Itarsi had staged a dharna demanding closure of an IMFL shop at Sonasanwari village. The women vandalised the shop and set it afire in the presence of Sitasharan Sharma. On the complaint of Ravindra Singh, the manager of liquor contractor Rahul Jaiswal, a case was registered in the Itarsi police station on April 13 against the village sarpanch Preeti Patel and four dozen others. However, Sharma was not made an accused in the case. The DCC says this shows how partisan the police were.