KOCHI: In an ironic incident, the Anti-Liquor Committee under the Pala Diocese withdrew its agitation against the foreign liquor supermarket run by Consumerfed, as directed by the Diocesan authorities.
It is reliably learnt that the agitation was withdrawn to facilitate a meeting to accord reception to Finance Minister K M Mani, for which a nearby venue was selected.
The three-day hunger strike was launched in front of Santhome Shopping Complex, a property owned by the diocese opposite the Kottaramattom bus stand, on August 28. However, the committee withdrew the agitation earlier by one day. According to office-bearers of the Anti-liquor Committee, the agitation was withdrawn to facilitate conduct of a function on the bus stand premises to accord reception to K M Mani.
“We just vacated the place as instructed by the Diocese authorities, to ensure smooth conduct of the programme at a nearby venue - attended by Oommen Chandy also. Since our campaign has been facing resistance from a particular group, holding the agitation and the Minister’s function at the same place could have created law-and-order problems. Therefore, the diocese authorities wanted us to stop the agitation temporarily,” said Prasad Kuruvila, an office-bearer of the Committee.
However, Prasad said the Committee wanted to hold the agitation near the venue of the Ministers’ function, in order to be noticed by the ministers. “The agitation against the supermarket will continue,” he added.