Rohtak: Known for their moral policing-blended diktats, Khap panchayats in Haryana have now demanded closure of liquor shops situated near places of worship, saying that they not only undermine religious sanctity, but also drive youths towards alcohol consumption.

After a meeting of nearly 20 khap panchayats (caste councils) in Jhajjar town on Sunday, it was decided that a dedicated campaign will be launched by the councils to get their demand met.

"We have unanimously passed a resolution to launch a special drive to get the liquor shops closed within municipality limit of all religious places in Haryana in order to maintain dignity of holy places and keep people away from drug and liquor use," said Om Prakash Dhankhar, chief of Haryana Dhankar Sabha.

He said a delegation of various Khaps will soon meet Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to push forward their demand. "We have also decided to launch a special campaign to mobilise people in support of our demand. The campaign will be launched from Beri, a religious town of Jhajjar district," Dhankar said, adding that the representatives will go to villages to make the people aware about the issue.

Representatives from various social councils including Ahlawat Khap, Dalal Khap, Jakhar Khap, Dhankhar Khap, Birhod 12 Khap, Bahu 17 Khap, Khuddan Khap, Chahar Khap, Kinha Khap, Kadian Khap and Jhajjar 360 Khap were present on the occasion.

Members of Akhil Bhartiya Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti and some social organisations also attended the meeting. Various other issues like female foeticide, dowry, drug addiction, costly weddings and ill effects of night marriages were also taken up for discussion during the meeting.

Khaps believe liquor shops in the vicinity of religious places not only hurt religious emotions, but also drive youths towards alcohol consumption.


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