A huge crowd ransacked a liquor outlet near Pollachi, in another instance of public anger against state-run liquor shops being relocated to residential areas following a supreme court order to close

The TASMAC outlet was opened at Thipampatti in Pollachi on Friday, despite opposition from the public, particularly women, who had also submitted a petition to the sub-collector and police.

Police said a large number of people went to the spot this afternoon, forced open the shutters by breaking the lock, went inside and threw out liquor bottles. Police personnel rushed to the spot, pacified the agitated crowd and assured them suitable action would be taken, following which the crowd dispersed.

However, before doing so they told police that they would intensify their stir if attempts were made to open the shop again in the area.

Protests have been held in many areas in the state over the relocation of shops to residential areas ever since the March 31 Supreme Court order, which ruled that liquor vends within 500 metres of national and state highways will have to shut down. The court had exempted the hill states of Sikkim, Meghalaya and Himachal Pradesh and areas having a population of up to 20,000.