Authorities in Gilgit on Sunday launched a crackdown against residents violating a law banning eating and drinking in public places during daylight hours in the month of Ramazan, imposing spot fines on dozens, witnesses and officials said.
A magistrate with a police party raided at least 12 hotels in Gilgit city on Sunday and found dozens of people eating lunch or having tea during the day.
“The operation is only against residents of Gilgit who covertly indulge in the unlawful activity of eating and drinking in Ramazan,” said Chiraguddin, the district government official spearheading the operation in the town. He said the restriction isn’t applicable on passengers and out-of-towners, who may eat and drink in specific hotels.
The raid provoked the ‘violators’ in a hotel at Jamat Khana Bazaar, who reportedly confronted the raiding party after being caught red-handed, said a witness, adding that the magistrate handed down fines ranging from Rs300 to Rs800 on each of them.
He said the people went back to finishing their food and drink soon after the magistrate left the hotel.
According to Chiraguddin, the government allowed around 35 hotels in Gilgit city to do keep their business open during the day. These hotels were given no-objection certificates and are mostly located near bus terminals.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2011.