Tappers will be allowed to measure toddy at the shop till shifting

The agitation by local residents demanding closure of the toddy shop at South Bazar here was called off following a series of discussions initiated by K. Sudhakaran, MP, between the agitators and

all concerned, including toddy tappers' unions on Wednesday night.

The agitation was called off on an assurance that the controversial toddy shop would be shifted to some other suitable place in a month. Till then the tappers would be allowed to measure the quantity of toddy being brought at the shop, but there would be no sale there.

The deadlock over the toddy shop with the agitators backed by a group of organisations, including religious, prohibition and Gandhian groups, on the one hand, and toddy tappers' unions, on the other, ended late last night following a series of mediatory efforts involving Mr. Sudhakaran and Additional District Magistrate P.K. Sudheer Babu who held a series of consultations with all people concerned.

The proposal that the toddy tappers be allowed to measure the quantity of toddy at the toddy shop till it was moved to another location was made by the trade union leaders, lest the licence of the shop would be revoked. As per the agreement, the toddy tappers would be allowed to measure toddy from 10 a.m. to 11-30 a.m.

The agitation started by the local residents had reached a sensitive point when the toddy tappers belonging to unions affiliated to both the Centre of Indian Trade Union and the Indian National Trade Union Congress stormed into the venue of the agitation and vandalised it and assaulted the agitators, mostly women. All the mainstream political parties, except the Communist Party of India(Marxist) had expressed solidarity with the agitators after the incident.

District Collector V.K. Balakrishnan had convened an all-party meeting to break the deadlock. A sub-committee had been constituted at the meeting for discussing proposals with the agitators and the trade union leaders.