Bhubaneswar: Following massive protests by various anti-liquor organisations over the State government's decision on relaxation of timings for liquor sale in 'ON' shops and bars in the capital city, Excise Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera today stated the decision was an unintended error. Behera clarified that the timings for liquor sale have been changed and only hotels and bars would be allowed to serve liquor till 1.30 AM.

"The decision to keep ‘ON’ shops open till 1:30 AM was unintentional and now will not remain open till 1:30 AM." he added.

Earlier, the State government had stated that the norms were changed for a month (from November 20 till December 20) keeping in view the Hockey World Cup 2018 and other mega events.

"Expecting foreign players and tourists to visit the city due to the Hockey World Cup, the timings for off shops at hotels and bars was relaxed for one month. But, if any decision has been taken on the ON shops, the error will be rectified," Behera added.

Earlier in the day, members of the Nisha Nibarana Abhiyan staged a dharna in front of the residence of the Excise Minister in the relaxation of timings for liquor sale.

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Before Behera regulated the norms today, the anti-liquor outfit's vice president Bijay Kumar Swain stated that the minister should first listen to the demands before taking a decision.