Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Balasore/Cuttack/Kandhamal, Jun 18:
With anti-liquor campaign gaining ground in Odisha, women activists today clashed with countrymade liquor mafia in Soro following which four members sustained injuries in the incident.
According to reports, women activists at Sadhuapada under Soro police limits in Balasore district today took out a demonstration against the illegal countrymade liquor joint in the area. While the women went on a rampage and set the shanty in which liquor was made afire, the supporters of the brewery owner Rama Mahalik allegedly retaliated and attacked these women protestors.
The village turned into a mini-battleground as the men armed with lathi and stones allegedly chased the women and attacked them. In the bloody battle, four women activists sustained injuries. They have been admitted to Soro Community Health Center (CHC) for treatment.
“We had gone to protest the illegal liquor manufacturing unit. Rama Mahalik’s men attacked us with wooden planks,” an injured villager said.
The violent incident continued for a while and the liquor unit owner was overpowered by the villagers. They detained him and handed over to police.
“We have detained Rama Mahalik as villagers have alleged that he has assaulted them. We are investigating into the matter,” Soro police station IIC, Parsuram Sahu said.
In a related incident, women today went on a rampage at a liquor shop in Netaji Nagar area in Cuttack. The protestors had been demanding the closure of the outlet since long. When their demands went unheard, the women today went on a rampaging spree besides staging a road blockade for some time. The vehicular movement in the area was affected for quite some time.
On the other hand, women groups have called for Kandhamal bandh on July 2 in protest against illegal liquor trade and unhindered sale of India made foreign liquor in the district.
According to reports, as many as 22 organisations have lent support to the district-wide stir.