Renuka retreats over dance bars

Renuka retreats over dance bars

Excise minister says he is neither for, nor against bars employing women

File photo of a dance bar before the ban.

Speaking to reporters, he said he never took objection against any police action. “I neither opposed employing girls as bartenders, nor supported it. I was misquoted by the media. I only said the Excise department has not given permission to the bars and restaurants to employ girls,” he stated.

He had recently criticised the police for cracking down on some bars and restaurants that doubled up as dance bars by employing girls as bartenders and had come out in support of owners of bars and restaurants.

Excise Commissioner Arvind Jannu said the Karnataka Excise Rules 1967 prohibited employing women in bars and restaurants. But the High Court of Karnataka struck down the particular provision of the rules in 2008 and allowed bars and restaurants to employ women. Therefore, the question of the department giving permission to employ women does not arise, he added.

He ruled out increasing the age limit for consuming liquor from the present 21 years to 25 like in Maharashtra.

No ID liquor in 2 months

The minister vowed to eliminate all illicitly-distilled (ID) liquor manufacturing units in the State within 60 days.

The excise department has already shut down 1,140 units out of a total 1,970 units identified across the State in the last one year.

A clampdown on the remaining units is on the cards, he said. Steps are being taken to slap cases under the Goonda Act against those running these units.

The excise department has been cracking down on moonshiners ever since they attacked Renukacharya at Karavi village in Belgaum district in February.

Plea to Goa, AP

Renukacharya said he would shortly meet his counterparts in Goa and Andhra Pradesh governments and urge them to stop smuggling of toddy and chloral hydrate (commonly known as CH powder) into Karnataka from their states.

Large quantities of CH powder are being smuggled into Karnataka, especially into Raichur and Gulbarga, from Goa and toddy is being smuggled in from Andhra Pradesh. Bootleggers are using both road and railway networks for their illegal operations, he said.

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