The Punjab government has ordered the closure of the Malbros liquor factory in Zira in Ferozepur district. The factory had led to large scale protests from local farmers, who alleged that it was polluting the ground water in the area. An announcement by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann that surprises political corridors is what comes as a shot in the arm for farmers agitating against the liquor factory in Punjab’s Zira. Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday ordered the Malbros alcohol making factory to be closed down. The farmers started their protest against this Malbros liquor factory on 24 July last year and 177 days were completed on Tuesday. The factory is owned by a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and former-MLA Deep Malhotra. In the afternoon, a video surfaced on an official twitter handle of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann announcing the closure of the liquor factory at Zira in Ferozepur district. However a three member panel of the Punjab and Haryana high court met the protesters and factory owners on Tuesday. Justice RK Nehru along with committee members Viraj Tidke, additional commissioner, excise and taxation, and Babbar Khan, advocate, met the protesters near Malbros International Private Limited, an alcohol-making unit at Mansurwal village in Zira sub division. During the interaction, the protesters showed video recordings and photos to the committee to support their charges of pollution being caused by the liquor unit. Representatives of the factory also met the committee and said they were doing nothing illegal. “We heard both sides and asked them to submit their pleas in the form of affidavits to be submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court as the matter is sub-judice,” Justice Nehru said. On the other hand, CM Mann announcing the decision in a video posted on Twitter, Mann said he would not allow anyone to “pollute the water, air or environment in Punjab.” He said he was ordering the closure of the factory after taking legal opinion on the issue.