airport Srinagar: The move to open a liquor shop at the Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport at Srinagar has begun to ruffle feathers in Kashmir, both on the ground and on social media.
On Thursday a group of protestors assembled at the Press enclave against the decision made to woo tourists to Kashmir valley.
The protesting citizens who claimed to have no affiliation with any group carried handwritten posters some of which read, “No liquor shop in the name of Sheikh-ul-Alam.”
They demanded that the government should not allow anyone to establish liquor shops inside the airport.
One of the protesters who identified himself as Musaib said that Srinagar based airport is named after Sufi saint. “Opening a liquor shop inside Sheikh-ul-Alam International would mean insulting and disrespecting him,” he said.
He said that if government wants to install a liquor shop there then they should change the name of an airport first. “We want to draw government’s attention that either it should not allow anyone to operate the liquor shop at Sheikh-ul-Alam airport or if it wants to see the liquor shop inside airport then its name should changed first.”
The reports of opening the liquor shop inside Sheikh-ul-Alam International came on Wednesday after The Airports Authority of India had invited e-tenders to seek bids from potential players to run a duty-paid liquor shop with lowest bid of rupees 200000 per month and its deadline was set October 16.
The decision of running a liquor shop inside the airport faced criticism from the Muslim community on social media like Facebook and Twitter. A twitter handler Mir Buran tweeted, “Airport is named after Sheikhul Alam R.A. If you are really setting up a liquor shop there, change its name at least.”
However a few people from other states supported the decision.
Aditiya Raj Koul, a New Delhi based journalist and a Kashmir Pandit tweeted, “Srinagar airport to get a liquor shop in Jan’18. Bold move amidst unofficial ban by radicals. Can we now have cinema halls back in #Kashmir.”