Dimapur Ao Pastors Call For Strengthening Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act - Eastern Mirror
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Dimapur Ao pastors call for strengthening Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act

By EMN Updated: Apr 07, 2024 8:41 pm

DIMAPUR — The Dimapur Ao Baptist Pastors Fellowship has expressed concerns about the calls made by NGOs for relaxation of the implementation of the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act, 1989 in Dimapur district.

“Undoing the NLTP Act 1989 will be a blunder which will further destroy the fabric of our society and families,” it said in an ‘open letter’ addressed to the Chief Minister of Nagaland. The letter, dated March 25, was issued to the media on Sunday.

It said that in order to the safeguard future generations of Naga society,  the civil society organisations, under the leadership of the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), approached the Nagaland legislature to enact laws controlling alcohol use in the state, as they recognised that moral and religious education alone could not reform society without effective law enforcement.

The legislature subsequently enacted the NLTP Act 1989, which appears to have achieved its noble objective, it said, adding that they are witnesses to the social ills of the pre-NLTP Act era and the contrasting current social environment.

Against this backdrop, the pastors expressed concerns over the opinion of certain NGOs who have elicited views that the prohibition Act should be relaxed in Dimapur district.

It asserted that, “no amount of consideration, either monetary, revenue, business purposes, employment etc., should be allowed to stand above the existing Act that stands against the evils caused by the use of alcoholic drinks.”

Stating that Nagaland is regarded as a role model in the country and abroad in terms of the control of manufacturing and use of alcoholic drinks through legislation, the pastors opined that relaxing the law in Dimapur or any part of the state would be akin to “keeping one of the doors open, which will eventually pave the way for free excess all over Nagaland.”

While some are of the opinion that the NLTP Act has failed and are suggesting its repeal rather than its continued presence in the statute book, this perspective may simply stem from the widespread availability of alcoholic drinks, particularly in Dimapur, the letter stated. In this regard, it said that the law enforcement agencies should remain vigilant and effective rather than shifting blame to the public or alcohol users.

“We opine that the government machineries armed with the vigour of the law must put more effort than now to control the situation so as to maintain progressive generation rather than degeneration and retardation,” it said, asserting that undoing the Act 1989 would be a mistake that will further erode the fabric of society and families.

Further, the pastors suggested that the chief minister’s office make corrective measures on the loopholes in the Act and reinforce its effectiveness, while urging that offenses under the Act be classified as non-compoundable felonies.

Additionally, it requested the empowerment of the Excise Department and the strengthening of manpower within the department.

By EMN Updated: Apr 07, 2024 8:41:36 pm
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