FIR filed against women group for forcefully stopping tobacco product sale in Tura

Tura, July 22: A FIR has been filed against a group of women after they went to various shops in the town of Tura and tried to enforce a ban on the sale of tobacco related products a few days ago.

The FIR, which was filed yesterday, Jul 21 at the Tura PS, was filed after complaints were received from businessmen of harassment by the women who demanded that tobacco based products not be sold in grocery or wholesale shops.

The women’s group allegedly cited a ruling by the health ministry which apparently asks state governments to develop a mechanism to not allow the sale of tobacco products in shops that sell other items. However a search of the internet on the matter could find no such ruling by the health ministry.

The group had earlier gone from shop to shop in Rongram and Tura and tried to enforce a ban on the sale of tobacco products. Their move led to the costs of these products spiraling as fearful traders refused to sell.

The women’s group had earlier complained to the GHADC seeking a ban on the sale of tobacco products in grocery or other retail stores while asking if the same was legally allowed. The GHADC however clarified that there was no separate license required for the sale of tobacco related products.

When contacted on the matter, deputy commissioner of WGH, Swapnil Tembe clarified that no laws have been made to prohibit the sale of tobacco products in shops. He added that the matter is currently being investigated.

“An FIR has been registered and the case is being investigated. We will take appropriate action in the matter,” informed Superintendent of Police, WGH, Vivekanand Singh.

Meanwhile Tura MDC, Bernard Marak, whose name was apparently also dragged into the mix, has clarified that he has nothing to do with the group that forced shops to stop legal tobacco product sale.

“The matter has been clarified by the GHADC as well and I stand with the business community on what is the legal sale of these products. Unless there are laws that prevent such sale, no one can enforce their own will,” said Bernard.

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