Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta
Former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta

SRINAGAR — Senior BJP leader and former Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Kavinder Gupta Monday said liquor sale should be banned in Jammu and Kashmir.

The statement of Gupta comes at a time when the Jammu and Kashmir government is going to open liquor sale points at different places across the Valley.

“Opening of liquor shops is not good for society. Government wants to make revenue by opening new wine shops but does not mean, it should become a problem for our youth. We should show our youth the right path. I don’t want to talk about wine shops which already exist but there should be a ban and new shops should not be opened here,” Gupta said.

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The excise department, after a survey, identified 183 new locations, 116 in Jammu and 67 in the Kashmir valley for the sale of liquor. The department has sought approval for e-auction of sale points from the Finance department.

A government order in this regard reads, “As per the survey… a total list of 183 locations including 116 in Jammu and 67 in the zones of Kashmir is enclosed.”

At present, the Union Territory has 224 wine shops with 220 in Jammu and four in Kashmir.

As per the documents, the Excise Department’s survey has identified spots and places in south Kashmir’s all four districts—Pulwama, Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag. The survey also includes spots for sale points in Srinagar, Baramulla, Bandipora, Ganderbal and Budgam.

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In 2018, BJP leader and present president of the party Ravinder Raina had demanded that Jammu and Kashmir be declared a dry State, and alcohol and bars be banned immediately.

Early this month, the J&K government also prohibited transporting of liquor in vehicles having press stickers from one place to another. The government issued the order after it found a trader using vehicles with press stickers for transporting liquor.

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