The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has shut down 37 shops selling alcohol and cannabis in areas surrounding Sri Krishna Janmasthan Mandir in Mathura.
The government has also cancelled the licences of several liquor shop owners operating within a 10 km radius of the Krishna Mandir in Mathura.
According to a Zee News report, around three bars located in hotels and two model shops will also remain shut in Mathura from Wednesday.
The action was taken after the excise department received a government order asking it to stop the sale of narcotics and liquor falling within 10 km radius of the temple.
The government said that the order should come into immediate effect from June 1, 2022, Wednesday.
The officials said that the Yogi government has once again reiterated that a 10 square km area with the Krishna Janmasthan in Mathura at its centre is a religious pilgrimage site and therefore the sale of alcohol and meat here would be completely banned.
Following the order, the official sprung into action on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, and shut the 37 shops selling liquor and cannabis within a radius of 10 km of the Sri Krishna Janmasthan Temple.
Municipal Commissioner Anunay Jha confirmed the development, saying that the Excise Department has shut down businesses and bars selling wine, beer, and cannabis in 22 wards of the city.
According to District Excise Officer Prabhat Chand, the government issued an order two days ago to close the alcohol shops on June 1. Chand added that after that, the selling of liquor was absolutely prohibited in the area.
The state government has reportedly advised that traders to instead sell milk to help resurrect the dairy business in Mathura, which is known for generating large amounts of dairy milk.
Similar action has been taken against similar shops in and around the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Last year in September, keeping the Krishna Janmabhoomi at the centre, the UP government declared that an area comprising 22 wards of the Mathura municipality will henceforth be identified as a holy pilgrimage site and will have a complete ban on the sale of meat and liquor. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath made this announcement while speaking at the Krishnotsava 2021 programme.
While meat shops in the said area were shut down the next day by the administration, shops selling liquor, beer, and cannabis were not shut down for technical reasons. But now, after the order received from the Yogi government two days ago, the District Excise Department has shut down all 37 such shops falling under the purview of 22 wards of the municipal corporation.