Mathura, Feb 25: Prominent sadhus, mahants, advocates and residents of Barsana have demanded that Barsana be declared a dry zone failing which they would not celebrate Lathamar Holi.
"We shall not celebrate Lathamar Holi on February 27 if Barsana is not declared dry zone," Ramraj Das Baba, the Mahant of Sudama Kuti declared in the panchayat last evening. Gopikas led by Vandana Shrotiya, who were supposed to play Lathamar Holi declared their full support for the agitation.
The saints also alleged that in some areas liquor shops have been opened near the school or temple which is clear cut violation of the norms for the allotment of liquor shops. Incidentally, these shops were allotted when B Chandrakala was District Magistrate of Mathura. However, the current DM Rajesh Kumar said that they have declared their demand at the eleventh hour.
"Declaration of an area as dry zone is not in my hand. For the time being, orders have been issued for the closure of liquor shops till March 1, 2015. "As for declaration of the area as dry zone is concerned, we would be writing the government in this regard after Lathamar Holi of Barsana and Nandgaon and follow the direction given by the government," he stated.
There was mixed reaction to closure order by the district magistrate. "The order of the DM is clear. We should not spoil our annual festival," a prominent advocate pleading anonymity said.