NGO stages dharna at film festival office against serving liquor

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Panaji, Nov 30: Protesting serving of alcoholic drinks at the venue of the ongoing 38th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), various NGO groups on Thursday staged a demonstration in front of the old GMC building demanding cancellation of licence to the Kingfisher company.

''Stop sale and promotion of alcohol in and around the INOX multiplex, Kala Academy, Children's Park and other public places where film festival programmes had been taking place,'' the NGOs said.

They included representatives, mostly women, belonging to the Bailancho Saad, Bailancho Ekvott, All India Women's Conference, ARZ, Positive People, Mahila Mandals, self help groups and others.

Wielding placards, they raised slogans, ''Goa is not alcohol destination'', ''Stop promotion of alcohol'', ''IFFI is a film festival, not alchohol festival'', ''Thodo Bottle'', ''Implement excise laws'', and ''Serve fruit punch, not alcohol''.

Even as the demonstration was on at the other end of the crowded road, a group of youngsters, including girls in their punkish attire, started openly drinking beer and smoking right in front of the OLD GMC complex though drinking liquor was prohibited in the public places.

A posse of armed cops including the specially drawn uniformed women belonging to the recently raised Goa Armed Reserve Police were witnessing the entire drama as a mute spectators.

The demonstrators strongly condemned the Goa government and the Entertainment Society of Goa for ''tarnishing the state'' as a place where alcohol can be sold any time of the day or night in total violation of the excise laws.

They had also objected to the opening of a bar opened by the Kingfisher which started serving beer free of cost to the newspersons.

The NGOs had further censured the authorities for allowing the liquor companies to open their bars in and around the public places where the film activities were on besides allowing them to advertise the brands.


UNI

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