Restrictions on alcohol sale in Bengaluru till Karnataka polls
Karnataka elections being just 9 days away, the atmosphere in the southern state is tensed and pulsating. Taking this into account, Bengaluru Police has issued a notification on April 30 prohibiting sale, distribution or consumption of liquor within city limits on certain days ahead of and during elections. This is a dual-purpose move: to avoid chaos and crime and to prevent influencing of votes.
As per Election Commission's guidelines, Police Commissioner T Suneel Kumar IPS issued the order, that mandates all establishments offering liquor should remain closed from 5pm on May 10 to midnight of May 12, and again from 6am on May 15 to midnight of May 15. Defaulters will be charged under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Following the EC's model code of conduct, raids were conducted last month across Karnataka to check for violations and around 793 bars and pubs were asked to shut down. The code was enforced from March 27, when poll dates were announced. After raiding, excise licenses of 303 out of 2,200 establishments were suspended in Bengaluru, which would be reinstated after elections following penalty payment.
Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat said yesterday that items worth Rs. 128cr have already been seized in the state till now. The seized items include cash, gold, silver, freebies and liquor. Karnataka votes on May 12 and the results will be declared three days later.