Meghalaya imposes restriction on drinking time

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Shillong, Jun 30 (UNI) Against the backdrop of the murder of a girl, the district administration in Meghalaya has reminded licensed bars owners here to strictly adhere to prescribed time-bound closure.

All bars in the city had been ordered to down shutters at 2100 hours sharp. The decision was taken after the district administration went into policing overdrive following discovery of a murdered girl.

The young girl, Darihun Lyngwi, was found murdered at Mawlai, Iewrynghep on June 12.

Police said the girl fell prey to a nefarious cartel involved in sex trade. So far, police had detained two persons, Marcus Dohling, an alleged pimp, and one Pretty Lyngkhoi, in connection with the crime.

'' We have sent a reminder to all licensed bar owner to shut down by 9 PM sharp, '' East Khasi Hills Deputy Commissioner Bhalang Dhar said.

On Saturday last, police conducted raids in several city hotels and rounded up eight people with ''women partners'' and let them off after warning.

'' We conducted raids in city hotels and nabbed eight people with women partners, but let them off after warning, '' Sadar police Officer-in-Charge K Prasad said.

A Police official, who wished not be named, claimed that many of the city hotels here held rave parties and had become the nerve- centre of a thriving sex trade with young college girls falling victims to it.

'' We are happy that police are taking action. It is an encouraging sign so that innocent girls don't fall victim to such illegal activities, '' Kyllum Lyngwi, brother of Darihun, who came to Shillong from Cheerapunjee, today said.

However, in the city many restaurants had been doubling up as illegal liquor joints right under the police nose.

Earlier, the Meghalaya government warned of crackdown on all illegal bars, holding them responsible for increasing anti-social activities in different parts of the city.

The government warning came in response to complaints from various quarters that the thriving illegal liquor dens had spawned criminal activities in the city.

Several unlicensed bars were reportedly doing brisk business in places like Polo Market, Iew Mawlong, Dreamland Point, Jhalupara and others.

Interestingly, most of these liquor outlets under the garb of restaurant also sell Chinese or Tibetan delicacies.

'' We have received complaints about illegal bars in the city but any action against them depends on proper verification by SMB, '' Urban Affairs Minister Paul Lyngdoh said.

Mr Lyngdoh warned that the government would not hesitate to use force against the persons involved in such illegal activities.

'' It is surprising that illegal bars are flourishing under the nose of law-enforcing agencies. The Excise Department has to seriously look into the matter, '' Mr Lyngdoh said.

Earlier, a women's organisation recently lodged a complaint that law and order in the city was disturbed due to the presence of illegal bars.

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