Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, July 29:
Taking strong exception to the gross inaction of the Odisha government in not taking any steps to shift liquor shops from near educational institutions and religious shrines, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has again asked the state government to submit an action taken report (ATR) on the issue.
It may be recalled that the Commission had issued a notice to the chief secretary and DGP last year in this regard and also directed the SPs of all districts to submit a detailed report within four weeks.
While there has been no report either from the chief secretary and the DGP, only four SPs of Nabarangpur, Malkangiri, Deogarh and Sundargarh districts have bothered to file a reply.
While the Malkangiri SP, in his report, had stated that there is no liquor shops around any educational institution and religious shrine in the district, SPs of Sundargarh and Nabarangpur districts had reported 44 and 14 liquor shops around these places respectively.
However, the Deogarh SP had not mentioned the number of liquor shops in such places in the district.
The Commission, in its reminder, has informed that it would hear a case in this connection at a three-day camp in Bhubaneswar beginning from August 19.
It may be mentioned that a petition, filed by human rights activist Akhand, had apprised the Commission that there are over 430 liquor shops that have come up around educational institutions and religious places.
He had stated that as per rules, liquor shops that should not come up within a distance of 500 metres from these places.
Thus these shops have come up in gross violation of rules, he had pointed out.