Imphal: While as undisturbed liquor sale increases at mushrooming shops and at roof top restaurants in Imphal area of dry state Manipur secretary general Nongchup Imphal Palem Ima Apunba Lup (NIMPAL), Soraisam Shanti Leima said the movement against lifting of Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 will be successful.
Shanti Leima was speaking to reporters during a sit-in rally staged at Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai, Imphal West on Sunday.
The sit in protest was jointly organised by NIMPAL, Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA), Nupi Samaj and Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai Yumjao Lairembi Nupi Lup.
Manipur government has been on its process to legalise liquor sale in the state by partially lifting the liquor prohibition Act.
Shanti said since after the state Cabinet taken a decision for partial lifting on prohibition of liquors in some areas of Manipur, freely selling and consumption of liquor in the state has been increased. However, the movement of NIMPAL, CADA and Nupi Samaj in support of local bodies is heading towards success, she added.
Selling of liquors in newly opened roof top restaurants has been reportedly increasing despite the women folks and other organisations’ continuous movement against lifting of liquor prohibition. The government should deploy security forces to those roof top restaurants and others to ban the liquor business, the women leader said.
The Cabinet decision mentioned that the partial lifting of liquor prohibition Act will be started from 20 bedded restaurants and hotels.
“What is the meaning of lifting prohibition from 20 bedded restaurants and hotels. what is the purpose for lifting the prohibition to such places”?
Since the implementation of Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act, 1991 the government has been unable to control liquor sale. Despite the ban, liquors are available in almost every areas of Manipur. What will be the scenario of the state the prohibition is partially lifted? Shanti questions.
“The alcoholics started drinking openly and started arguing to the volunteers who conducted liquor drive to ask Biren, as the government has already permitted for liquor consumption,” she added.
The government has been taking various measures to stop drugs and other intoxicating elements under War on Drugs. The government should ban liquor, she said.
Instead of earning revenue by exporting liquor, the government should find out an alternative means, she added.
In the Imphal city and its surrounding number of restaurants including roof top restaurants has been increasing and it is reported that in most of the restaurants liquors are selling openly with high price and the price are not fixed for respective restaurants for liquors.
Chief minister N. Biren Singh had expressed earlier that the government’s stand on partial lifting of liquor will be remain firm.
CADA had expressed that the association will not accept to hold any meeting regarding the issue until the government produce a white paper on liquor legalisation.
Similar protests were also staged at different parts of Imphal West.