Earlier in the day, hoteliers and restaurants owners had gathered to stage a protest against the Supreme Court's order on banning the sale of liquor within 500 m of national and state highways.
Following the Supreme Court order to ban liquor shops on highways across India, Dr Mahesh Sharma, Tourism and Culture Minister said,”Beech ka raasta agar ho toh nikalenge”( Will find a middle way). He was speaking after protests had broken out in Chandigarh.
Earlier in the day, hoteliers and restaurants owners had gathered to stage a protest against the Supreme Court’s order on banning the sale of liquor within 500 m of national and state highways. The intent behind the protest was for the government to consider its demands and move the apex court. The protest started on Sunday evening with the owners of restaurants, hotels and bars lit candles outside their premises in different sectors of Chandigarh.
“Our protest is a very peaceful protest. Supreme Court is most honourable and cannot be seen in a light of sloganeering,” said Manmohan Singh Kohli, the president of Chandigarh Hotelier and Restaurant Association.
““We have hired the best lawyers. We are not protecting a murder, we are protecting the trade and industry which is legal, valid and we have put our best faith in our government to pay prices for such big pieces of land.Our association is just trying to safeguard the hard-earned money our families, promoters and mainly of our employees,” he added.
Apart from Chandigarh, other states too were affected because of the ban. According to the reports, the existing liquor licenses will be valid till June 30 for Karnataka, so the liquor outlets on the highways in Karnataka have almost three months to move.
In Jarkhand, there were no liquor shops open along highways on Saturday whereas Punjab Excise department has suspended the licenses of about 2,500 liquor outlets. On the other hand, following the Supreme Court order, all commerical establishments within the ambit have been shutdown.