Srinagar | WTNS | June 20: After nearly three decades, the Jammu and Kashmir government identified 183 places in the Union Territory that includes 116 in Jammu and 67 in the Valley for opening of liquor shops.
Accordting to the documents available with Wilayat Times, includes an order issued from the office of Excise commissioner Jammu and Kashmir submitted to the Financial Commissioner, Finance department, Civil Secretariat. The order reads: “It is submitted that this office has divided the J&K UT area into 27. As per the survey conducted and in exercise of the powers under rule 28 of J&K Liquor and License rules, 1984 and section 4 (B) of the excise Act, a total list of 183 locations including 116 in Jammu and 67 in the zones of Kashmir is enclosed.”
While strongly reacting to the proposal Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said that people of Kashmir will oppose the governments’ plans tooth and nail. “No question of setting up new liquor shops in Kashmir or Jammu.
The order further reads that it is request that the necessary approval may kindly be granted enabling to proceed further strictly under the rules by way of any transparent method, either e-auctioning zone wise or location wise as the government deems fit as a matter of policy. The order is duly signed by Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Excise commissioner J&K. Sources said that proposal is likely to be given a go ahead by the finance department.
As per the documents, the survey conducted by the Excise department has identified spots/places in south Kashmir’s all four districts—Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag followed by Srinagar, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Budgam.
While strongly reacting to the proposal Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Nasir-ul-Islam said that people of Kashmir will oppose the governments’ plans tooth and nail. “No question of setting up new liquor shops in Kashmir or Jammu. This is a fresh assault on the Kashmir’s culture and a move to drag Valley youth towards immorality,” he told KNO. The Grand Mufti said that fresh move will face stiff opposition from all quarters.
Meanwhile Senior Congress leader and former minister G M Saroori on Saturday warned of protests by people over the opening of any new liquor shop in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
He also appealed to Jammu Divisional Commissioner Sanjeev Verma Kishtwar Deputy Commissioner Rajinder Singh Tara not to allow opening of new liquor shops in the district.
“People, irrespective of their religious identity, have resentment against the liquor sale in Kishtwar… If the liquor shop is allowed to open in Kishtwar, people will come on the roads in protest,” Saroori, senior vice-president of Congress and former legislator, said in a statement here.
The Congress leader said the Excise and Taxation Department has issued a notice seeking commercial place in Kishtwar for modular departmental liquor stores.
Demanding immediate withdrawal of the notice, he said “People from all the faiths are against liquor sale in Kishtwar”.