Khammam: As the stage is set for the opening of licenced retail liquor shops for the new liquor policy period 2021-23 on Wednesday, Adivasi, SC and Goud associations are gearing up to check benami traders. The associations wanted the officials to safeguard the reservations the State government provided to the communities ensuring a livelihood to them. The leaders of Adivasi JAC, Goud JAC and SC JAC alleged that the liquor mafia in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana want to grab away the opportunity government provided to the communities to run liquor shops by coercive means.
There is a huge demand for liquor shops in Khammam and Kothagudem districts situated on AP borders. The reason is higher prices and restrictions on liquor sales in AP. Most of the liquor stocks from shops in the districts are either illegally supplied to AP or customers from that State come to shops in border mandals to buy liquor, sources said.
“We met Kothagudem Prohibition and Excise Officer Narsimha Reddy on Monday and submitted a memorandum urging him to curb benami traders and liquor syndicate,” Adivasi JAC leader Vasam Ramakrishna Dora told Telangana Today on Tuesday.
He stated that reserved liquor shops must be run by respective community members alone. The JAC will fight any deviation in that regard. The JAC will keep a watch on the reserved shops in the next week to see who is running the shops, benami or the original licensed owner. The government reserved shops for SC/ST and Gouds to help them to grow economically. If required the JAC will file public interest litigation (PIL) in the court to protect their rights, Dora said, demanding to cancel benami licences.
The Goud Officials and Professionals Association (GOPA) Khammam district president G Srinivas Goud also said that they will keep a watch on liquor shops and syndicate to ensure government reservation to the community utilised properly. It may be noted that in Kothagudem, 44 shops allotted to STs, seven to SCs and six to Gouds. In Khammam eight shops are reserved for STs, 14 to SCs and 18 to Gouds. Those from AP have got licenses for as many as 18 shops in Khammam and eight shops in Kothagudem district.
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