Even a Madras High Court order restraining the Tamil Nadu government from relocating liquor shops to residential areas, has done little to quell the rising anger amongst women in the state. In yet another act of violence and vandalism, female residents of Thipampatti Poonganagar near Pollachi in Coimbatore district broke open the lock of a new liquor shop and broke hundreds of bottles containing alcohol.
According to residents, this shop was being relocated from a nearby highway despite court orders and their protests against the move. Following this, close to 50 women on Saturday used stones to break open the lock and make their way into the outlet. Several boxes of alcohol were then thrown out of the shop.
"There are close to 150 houses in this area and we are all against this outlet. School children and youth who go to college use the bus stop near this outlet to get to their institutions. How can we let them go near this place?" asks one of the participants. "Men come here to work in the agricultural fields as well. If the shop doesnâ€™t remain closed, we will take far more drastic measures," she threatens.
Protests at the site only came to an end after the police intervened. Men in khakhi can be seen asking the women to leave before they held a discussion with the male protesters present there.
In another such incident in Dharmapuri on Saturday, another group of women vandalised the state-run TASMAC shop, demanding its relocation. Liquor bottles worth close to Rs 30 lakh were destroyed.
Much to the disgust of these women, the Tamil Nadu government recently urged the Madras High Court to modify its order that stops relocation of liquor shops to residential areas. The bench then directed the AG to file a petition which will be taken up for hearing.