Hindustan Times (Delhi)

Swaraj Abhiyan wants govt to shut 11 liquor vends at once

- HT Correspond­ent htreporter­s@hindustant­imes.com

NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party splinter group Swaraj Abhiyan demanded that all liquor vends opened without residents’ consent should be shut down immediatel­y, and released a list of 11 such shops on Sunday.

Group leader Prashant Bhushan said Delhi government should take immediate action against the 11 liquor shops as they caused “several law and order problems in the areas”.

“These vends have been opened against the wishes of local residents and have now turned into a nuisance for general public, who have approached Swaraj Abhiyan. These have resulted into law and order problems making dayto-day life tough for residents, compromisi­ng with women’s security and future of children,” said Bhushan.

He said the Swaraj Abhiyan will hold a public hearing on August 23 against a liquour vend in Karawal Nagar — the constituen­cy of water minister Kapil Mishra who has announced he will hold a mohalla sabha on August 28 on the issue.

“In case the Delhi government does not heed the genuine demands of people of Delhi, a state-wide campaign will be undertaken to expose the duplicity of the Aam Aadmi Party and build public pressure on the elected government to act,” said Bhushan.

Swaraj Abhiyan leaders also alleged that Delhi government’s revenue through liquor sales had almost doubled since the AAP came to power, but the government took no steps to contain alcoholism in the capital.

“We have demanded a whitepaper on actual alcohol consumptio­n, opening of numerous liquor shops and steps undertaken for de-addiction and discouragi­ng alcoholism be presented by the Delhi government,” said Swaraj Abhiyan leader, Anupam.

The group also questioned the legal sanctity of the mohalla sabhas’ role in closing existing liquor shops. “The Delhi government has shown no interest in passing the Swaraj Bill, which would have granted legal sanction to units of Mohalla Sabha. Why is the government trying to mislead by saying that mohalla sabhas will have the power to remove liquor vends, when the fact remains that no such power has yet been granted?” he said. NEW DELHI: Congress workers on Sunday hit the streets in northwest Delhi’s Kirari against “illegal country liquor shops in the area”.

Alleging that 400 illegal liquor shops are operationa­l in the area, party workers demanded a highlevel probe by a premier investigat­ing agency into the illegal trade with sales running to crores.

“We are demanding a CBI or an AntiCorrup­tion Branch probe into this huge illegal liquor trade. It involves politician­s, police officials and rich property dealers. Most underprivi­leged people of Delhi live in Kirari and they are being robbed of their earning and being pushed to become alcoholics..,’’ said Congress leader

Pratyush Kanth. HTC

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