by Muslim Mirror Staff
Qazigund, a town located in the Kulgam district of south Kashmir, experienced a total shutdown in protest against the establishment of a liquor shop along the Srinagar-Jammu highway.
During the shutdown, all the shops in the town remained closed, reflecting the local community’s demand for the immediate closure of the controversial liquor shop.
“It will be a source of waywardness and give rise to moral corruption. The government is claiming that it has been acting tough against the drug peddlers but allowing wine shops to operate freely. This is duality,” a local told reporters.
“We may be a weak society right now. But our weaknesses should not be exploited. Kashmiris have never been in support of wine shops and will never be. We demand that the shop shall be removed from here,” Abdul Rashid, another local told Kashmiriyat.
Political parties, including the Jammu Kashmir National Conference and the People’s Democratic Party, have strongly criticized the opening of the liquor shop and expressed their condemnation. These parties have called for the immediate closure of wine shops, aligning with the demands of the local community.
“Opening an alcohol shop at places where there is no tourist footfall in Kashmir is sheer irony. More so, a wine shop has come up in the vicinity of perhaps the largest school in Kashmir. When a number of states, including Gujarat, do not permit the sale of alcohol, this ‘license’ is for much more than what seems,” Imran Nabi Dar of Jammu Kashmir National Conference said regarding the opening of a wine shop in Srinagar.
NC youth leader Ahsan Pardesi said, “In the garb of tourism government is pushing youth towards liquor. There are states in India that have tourism and yet alcohol is banned. This will have a cascading effect on our youth.”
Similar incidents of protests against the opening of liquor shops have occurred in various regions of the Kashmir Valley in the past. Most recently, a united front comprising Muslims, Sikhs, and Pandits organized a joint protest in Uri, located in North Kashmir. The collective demonstration put pressure on the local administration, ultimately resulting in the closure of the liquor shop in question.