DUCCF Urges Nagaland Governor To Lift Liquor Prohibition In Dimapur - Eastern Mirror
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DUCCF urges Nagaland Governor to lift liquor prohibition in Dimapur

By EMN Updated: Dec 09, 2023 8:14 pm
La. Ganesan with DUCCF members.

DIMAPUR — The Dimapur Urban Council Chairmen Federation (DUCCF) has requested Nagaland Governor La. Ganesan to repeal the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act 1989 in Dimapur district.

At the consultative meeting with the governor at Police Complex, Chümoukedima, on December 8, the DUCCF also handed him a copy of memorandum, which was submitted to the deputy commissioner of Dimapur earlier on November 13.

It stated in the memorandum that the NLTP Act 1989 was an outcome of the overwhelming pressure from the churches and civil society organisations to ban all liquor products and businesses through the state-imposed legislation.

Thereafter, total prohibition was enforced throughout the state of Nagaland with manufacture, sale, consumption, transportation and possession of liquor made a punishable offence under the said Act.

The federation claimed that it had carried out substantial research through a dedicated team of professionals from various backgrounds on the “non-implementation of the NLTP Act,” particularly in and around Dimapur district, and its adverse impact upon the citizens of Nagaland.

Based on the research, the DUCCF contended that the Act has failed on all counts and that the citizens have become unfortunate victims and not beneficiaries, as originally envisaged, due to the Act.

The federation said it is of the opinion that the total prohibition imposed upon the citizens of Nagaland is akin to various fanatical organisations calling for a ban on celebration of events or dictating what to eat, dress or speak.  It also maintained that complete prohibition of liquor even in confined, restricted and protected spaces such as one’s own house is an infringement of Right to Privacy (Article 21).

Citing the “failure” of prohibition in the USA, it pointed out that the prohibition generated an ecosystem that encouraged illegal means to make liquor available to the public, even among the law and order mechanism and politicians.

“Nagaland is pre-dominantly a Christian state where Nagas embraced Christianity brought by the American missionaries 150 years ago. And it is very clear from the preceding paragraphs that Nagaland is facing the exact same situation the US had faced during the prohibition years, albeit with a local twist,” it said.

The memorandum went on to state that Dimapur city, with a population of 3,78,811 (2011 Census), has more than a thousand bootleggers operating through illegal bars, hotels, resorts, restaurants, dhabas, roadside chips and mineral water bottle shops, etc, which translates to approximately one outlet per 380 people.

“This is an abnormally high number considering that in a licensed environment there may hardly be a fraction of the above number of shops selling over-the-counter alcohol. And this illegal business generates a mind boggling revenue of INR 15 crore in a month alone,” it stated.

On health concerns posed by illegal and bootlegged liquor flowing freely into Nagaland from the neighbouring states, the DUCCF said even the state Health department had confirmed that such liquor are found to be “generally spurious and more harmful than regular IMFL”.

The DUCCF also said that ‘prohibition is most likely the contributing factor’ behind the alarming rise in substance abuse in the past few years.

Claiming that “prohibition will not work, no matter what,” it said the “government needs to project a strong political will and should stand up for the rights and plights of its citizens”.

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By EMN Updated: Dec 09, 2023 8:14:44 pm
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