Aizawl: Zoramthanga, the newly elected chief minister of Mizoram, seems to be already on his way towards fulfilling his pre-poll promise of a total ban on alcohol in the state. On Friday, his Mizo National Front (MNF) government enforced a temporary ban on alcohol that will continue till January 14 next year.
The announcement is seen as a prelude to a total ban on alcohol promised by the party before the assembly elections. The issue will be taken up during the next assembly session, said sources.
However, not all are happy with the government’s move of imposing the ban. Some residents have taken to social media to share their views on how a ban will turn into a bane for the people of Mizoram.
Speaking to EastMojo, an office-bearer of the Mizoram Liquor Vendor’s Association said that the move to ban liquor was a part of vote-bank politics. If the ban is imposed, it will create a state of disorder in Mizoram.
“The politicians have been trying to demonise the use of liquor but it will only be the middle class and the poorer section of society who will have to bear the brunt. There are two check gates positioned, one of which is in Vairengte and the other in areas bordering with Myanmar. A total imposition will only be possible if the excise department conducts round-the-clock checks in these two entry points in order to control bootlegging. However, the excise department does not have that kind of man-power to do that,” the secretary said.
He also went on to add that bootlegging also triggers moral policing and violation of human rights. Bootleggers or people who are caught in inebriated conditions get beaten up and even thrown out of their house by civic body watchdogs such as Service Reduction Squad. It is also being said that the ban will trigger the growth in the sale of country liquor that is usually made under unhygienic conditions.
“In most of the factories where country liquor labourers are hired from Myanmar, they use the same fermented rice several times which may create health issues among users. Meanwhile, they are also said to use a substance called ‘BE’, made of harmful chemicals and which has proved to be fatal,” the secretary added.
Soon after winning the 40-member assembly, Zoramthanga had said that banning of liquor will be his top priority. The MNF chief was sworn in as the chief minister of Mizoram on December 15.