Move comes after strong opposition from Valley locals.
Srinagar: The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has cancelled the tender issued by it for setting up a duty paid liquor shop at the Srinagar International Airport in view of the outrage that evoked across Kashmir.
On Friday, the Jammu and Kashmir Excise Department (JKED) had conveyed to the AAI that it won’t give licence for opening the liquor shop as it “violates the provisions of J&K excise Act, 1958 and liquor License and Sales Rules, 1984.”
Following reports that the AAI has invited tenders at the Srinagar airport which is also referred to as Sheikh-ul-Aalam International Airport after Kashmir’s patron Owaisi saint Sheikh Nooruddin Wali to “boost tourism” in the Valley, various social, religious and political parties had protested against the move.
Their focus of criticism was mainly CM, Mehbooba Mufti who was accused of showing disrespect to Sheikh-ul-Aalam and also hurting the sentiments of the people of Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region. Liquor is forbidden in Islam.
The AAI on Friday after cancelling the tender said, “It is observed through media/social media that a section of society is against having duty paid liquor shop at Srinagar International Airport and while honouring local sentiments, AAI has decided to cancel the tender process of duty paid liquor shop with immediate effect”. “It is hoped that with this communication all controversies arising out will be placed at rest,” read AAI’s statement.
The JKED had earlier refused to issue licence to the AAI for the same. The letter said, “It is intimated that opening of liquor shop at the airport Srinagar will not be permitted as such you may stop the process for such proposal as the excise department will not grant the license required for opening f liquor vend/shop at International Airport Srinagar”.
The letter signed by the JKED commissioner Javed Khan said, “In continuation to this office letter No. EC/Exc/1249 dated 13-10-2017 where under you have been intimated that the J&K excise Department shall not grant Liquor license for opening of liquor shop/ vend at Srinagar International airport in violation of the provisions of J&K excise Act, 1958 and liquor License and Sales Rules, 1984.” The letter asked the AAI to “stop the process of any such proposal.”