Tuesday, October 4, 2022

No roll back on decision on prohibition: Biren



Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh said there would be Nno roll back to the decision on lifting prohibition, said even as the voice against the government’s decision got louder on Friday.
On September 20, the Cabinet of N Biren Singh government took a decision to lift partially the prohibition on liquor in the state.
Expressing strong denouncement of the government decision, many CSOs, mostly women based ones, warned of intense forms of agitation while pressing the government to revoke the decision. The protest gained momentum when protesters fought a pitched battle with the police on the street of the capital city today. Some women protesters fainted as the police confronted protesters who carried out a rally towards the chief minister’s secretariat.
They took out the rally after a sit-in-protest at Keishampat Junction under the joint aegis of the Coalition against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) and various women based CSOs.
CADA, a CSO actively campaigning against liquor and other intoxicants, strongly opposed the government decision of lifting the prohibition.
The slogan chanting rally at the concluding part of the protest was prevented from marching further by the police. As they tried to continue the march despite restriction, police snatched banners and placards protesters carried, resulting in a brief confrontation.
The police, however, took control of the situation after a brief struggle and dispersed the protesters.
Earlier in the day, chief minister N Biren Singh clarified that there is no question of rolling back the decision, in a speech at the launch programme of the 1st Batch Trainees of the State Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology and Applied Nutrition (SIHM), Manipur held at City Convention Centre. He said that the Cabinet decision was taken after holding thorough discussion and taking recommendations from committees formed by the government to study the pros and cons of the prohibition on liquor.
He clarified that the state government had taken the decision not only to earn revenue but also considering the health of people.
The prohibition is to be lifted partially under a rule which the state government was in the process of drafting. He also sought suggestions from the CSOs and public.
Elaborating on the matter, Singh said that the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 could not be enforced effectively as the Act gives relaxation to some communities producing local liquor as part of their custom.
As the government hadn’t been able to ban such production effectively, the state government engaged an expert team from outside the state to check the production process in such places and raise it to a certain level of standard so that the liquors could be exported outside the state.
Singh said that the government was planning to establish a beer factory in the state using locally produced raw ingredients like pineapple and ginger.