Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 26:
The liquor shop at Namtara village in Kendrapara district, closed down by the Odisha government, was opened again by the order of the High Court, Excise minister Damodar Rout told the Assembly on Wednesday.
Replying to a question by BJP member Dilip Ray in the State Assembly he said the state government had opened the liquor shop at Namtara on October 15, 2005. Prior to the opening of the shop, the government had sought the opinion from the people of the village and its nearby localities, but did not receive any complaints or opinion in the specified time frame.
However, people of this locality raised objections after the shop was opened. Following a petition in the Odisha High Court, the liquor shop had remained closed for some days. But it was opened after the directive of the High Court, Rout said.
He said his department had received complaints from the village sarpanch and people on December 22 in 2007, December 29 in 2008, March 15 and December 31 in 2014 while the Excise Inspector had submitted a report on the complaints received during 2014-15 and 2015-16 to the department.
He also said while the investigation was underway by the department, some people had protested the opening of the liquor shop while some others were in support of it.
Stating that his department has no information about the lathi-charge and firing by the police on the villagers on March 8, Rout said these incidents do not come under the purview of the department.