State-run Beverages Corporation ( Bevco) is witnessing local protests wherever it tried to open liquor outlets after it was forced to relocate shops that fell within 500 metres from highways as ordered by the Supreme Court. The agitation in Changanassery against a new Bevco outlet turned into a hartal on Monday after the police used force to disperse protesters on Sunday.

 

The hartal is complete in the limits of Changanassery Assembly constituency. The action council formed by the local residents put up a stiff resistance against opening the Bevco outlet in Vattappally. The residents launched day and night protest against the liquor outlet three days back.
 

Related: Bitter (funny too) fight over liquor shop divides men and women in this village
 

On Sunday night the police allegedly manhandled the protesters including CF Thomas MLA, triggering an outrage in the locality. The MLA and the action council jointly called for a hartal Monday.  
 

Related: Now, protests spreading across Kerala against relocated liquor shops
 

Meanwhile, the Bevco authorities have urged the government to take steps for the smooth relocation of outlets. The government should also ensure the safety of the Bevco employees who are often targeted by the agitators, they demanded.  

 

Local agitations are making it difficult for the relocation of Bevco outlets away from highways. As most of the local bodies are against opening the outlets under their jurisdiction, the government is seriously thinking of revoking the rights transferred to panchayats to give no objection certificates to liquor shops. The plan is to build a consensus through an all-party meeting and bring an ordinance or a circular.