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Total prohibition to remain: Rio
Correspondent Kohima, Mar 24 (NPN):
Published on 25 Mar. 2011 12:56 AM IST
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Chief minister Neiphiu Rio today reasserted that though Prohibition was not cent per cent successful in Nagaland, against the backdrop of illegal sale of IMFL and rise in drinking of locally brewed alcohol, the Act will remain in force.
Rio stated this on the floor of the house while intervening during question hour when opposition members led by opposition leader Tokheho launched scathing attacks on violation of the Act even by government functionaries including the chief minister.
Earlier, Excise Minister M.C. Konyak in a written answer said that there was no amendment has been made on the Prohibition Act and its rules. He also clarified that prescribed drinks “liquor” means any liquor and includes all liquid consisting of or containing ethyl alcohol. Also any substances which the state government may by notification, declare to be liquor for all purpose under Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act 1989.
Taking the queue, opposition leader Tokheho Yepthomi raised a volley of supplementary questions such as- whether local rice beer fell within the prohibition and whether the act exempted the VIPs. Tokheho also demanded that if the act should continue and that local rice beer be also prohibited and the excise department strictly enforce it and frame amendments and rules.
Tokheho also disclosed that during December last year, some women organisation had openly displayed 200 basins of rice bear on the road of the NH-39 as part of fund rising for the organization. He also pointed out that during Hornbill festival at Kisama, liquor was allowed to be sold openly. Stating that while it was difficult to prevent public, yet it was shocking that Reverends and Pastors were invited to bless the Hornbill festival where alcohol was sold for consumption. Attempting to drive the point that the law makers were violators, Tokheho showed a picture of the chief minister purportedly sipping local brew with the chief minister of Meghalaya a published in a section of the local press.
Responding to the allegations, chief minister Rio deflect it by saying that he did not sip any local brew as alleged but that the photo was taken when he visited the Chakhesang morung and that he was sipping ‘Hot maize soup’ and not modhu.
Rio also denied by justifying that he was allergic to any cold drinks for which he always carries hot water everywhere.

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