NUAPADA:Palpable tension gripped Godtor and Sakhatora in the district on Sunday after locals ransacked liquor shops protesting opening of the units near residential areas.
The owners of the units shifted to residential areas following the Supreme Court direction to close all such shops located within 500 metres of highways on or before March 31.
On Sunday, about 200 residents of Godtor and Sakhatora under Ward Nos 1 and 2 of Nuapada NAC ransacked a country liquor and an IMFL outlets which were shifted to Sakahtora on Sunday. Police have registered a case following a complaint by IMFL outlet manager Gopal Srivastav.
Sources said country liquor was being sold in Telipada in Ward No. 4 for a long time while an IMFL outlet was located near Ekta Chowk on the Main Road along NH 353. After the direction by the apex court, both the outlets identified spots about 2 km from the town at Sakhatora on Nuapda-Sakhatora road towards Potara. Locals, who had petitioned the district administration against the shifting earlier, took law into their own hands. Women and youths of the area went in a rally to the two units around 9 am and ransacked the country liquor outlet forcing the staff to flee from the spot. The mob also set the bottles on fire. On finding the IMFL outlet locked, they broke it open and smashed the bottles before setting it on fire.
Nuapada SDPO Bidyut Panda and Nuapada IIC Satya Ranjan Pradhan rushed to the spot and chased away the protestors. Fire brigade doused the flames.
While police claim that some of the protestors fled with cartons of liquor bottles, the residents accused police of being hand in glove with the liquor traders. They threatened to intensify their stir if police fails to take action.