A tug of war has been going on between two sections of residents in a Mysuru district over the opening of a wine shop between Hirehalli and Naganahalli villages. A few residents, especially the women in a village in Mysuru district, have raised objections to the Excise Department's decision to allow a wine shop to be set up. Another group of residents, mostly men, have been holding simultaneous protests demanding that the bar should be allowed to set up.
The protesting women cited safety concerns and warned that the bar "will not be allowed to be opened at any cost".
"It will not be a safe area. Girls are studying in schools nearby. We work in fields nearby. It is a forested area with no houses around. Before anything bad happens, we want to stop it. We don't want the bar to be set up for any reason and we won't allow it to be set up at any cost," says a woman who did not want to be identified.
Residents have cited the proximity of the proposed location of the bar to a route children take to go to school.
"We have been protesting against a bar being set up between Hirehalli and Naganahalli for the past two years. There are many school children from Hirehalli and other villages who use this path to go to the high school in Naganahalli since there is no high school in Hirehalli. There are no houses around and there are forests nearby," says Suresh, a resident of Hirehalli.
Meanwhile, in a protest held outside the Mini Vidhana Soudha at Heggadadevankote, a group of men staged a dharna against those opposed to the opening of the bar.
The men were adamant that the bar should be opened stating that it may generate additional revenue.
"Around Hirehalli village, there are no bars. Theft and other cases are increasing in the area. Every day, a case is being reported in HD Kote station. If the government opens a bar here, it will get good revenue. But a few middlemen, along with people who are unaware, are opposing the bar saying that it will affect their business. The land given for the bar is according to the law and we request that the bar be opened," says Angatti Devaraj, a resident of Hirehalli.
Angatti was also seen leading a group of men by singing folk songs in favour of the bar opening.
Officials at the HD Taluk Office confirmed that they had received two letters, one in support of the bar being set up in Hirehalli and one opposing it. The letters have been forwarded to the DC office and a decision is expected to be taken soon.