CADA demands govt to revoke decision on legalisation of liquor, warns of intense agitations

File photo of Meira Paibis capturing illegal liquor before the legalisation in Manipur.

Imphal: The Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) has strongly condemned the Manipur government for lifting of prohibition on alcohol and demanded the state for revocation of legalising sale, consumption and brewing of alcohol in the state at the earliest.

Manipur become a dry state after the passing of the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act in 1991, with exemption to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities to brew liquor for traditional purposes.

Various civil societies, including CADA and other women organisations, have been launching an aggressive movement on consumption of alcohol and pressing the government to impose the state liquor policy strictly.

“However, taking lightly of our collective movement, the government lifted the prohibition without any consultation in a hasty manner which is very unfortunately,” said CADA secretary general Geetchandra Mangang.

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Geetchandra mentioned that in the 2019-20 report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), Manipur ranked in fifth position in alcohol consumption in the country. So, the government needs to implement this liquor prohibition because both drug menace and alcoholism are still a serious social issues in the state, he said.

CADA observed its 16th foundation day on September 18 and vowed to continue the movement against drugs and alcohol in a more stringent manner.

According to Geetchandra, approximately a total of 9,600 liter of illicit alcohol were seized in a year by conducting drives around Imphal and other valley districts.

The state Cabinet decided to lift the prohibition on alcohol in some specific locations, including district headquarters, tourists spots, army camps and hotels with 20-bedded facilities. The decision was taken into the account of health issues and to boost state’s revenue.

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However, CADA is skeptical about the state’s lifting of prohibition on health concerns and alleged that it was only to increase the revenue.

Geetchandra also questioned the government that by consuming legalised and IMFL alcohol, will the people in the state become healthy and also addressed social problems like domestic violence and crimes related to alcohol?

He went on to ask if the government has the actual figures on kidney failure and liver cirrhosis caused by consumption of unregulated alcohol as the Cabinet decided to legalise the alcohol based on it.

“We have no survey data or study on the impact of alcohol. They (government) are just assuming that if we drink more quality alcohol, such health issues like liver cirrhosis will be decrease,” said Geetchandra , while demanding the government to clarify on the statement.

Even consumption of a quality and expensive alcohol too has an impact on health and will also cause a liver cancer, he said, while adding that the government took the decision only to increase the revenue.

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