Dimapur: Expressing shock over the rampant sale of liquor, the Dimapur Naga Students’ Union (DNSU) alleged that despite repeated warnings issued by the state excise department and the Police, illegal sale of liquor continues to take place across various parts of Dimapur district of Nagaland.
On receiving complaints from individuals, the students’ body monitored two separate locations where it was found that illegal sale of liquor was taking place, an official statement from the DNSU media cell on Monday said.
The student body informed that raids were carried out below the flyover near Dimapur railway station with the assistance of ACP ‘A’ Seyiesezo Peseyie and East PS Officer-in-Charge R K Patron where 641 bottles of IMFL, comprising different brands and sizes were seized.
In a separate raid jointly carried out with the Sub-Urban PS, led by officer-in-charge Picto Achumi near Durga Mandir, 4,705 bottles of different brands and sizes of liquor were seized. It claimed that an FIR was lodged in East PS and a suo moto FIR was lodged at Sub-Urban PS, for both the cases.
It further informed that such raids will jointly be conducted with the excise department and the police from time to time. Urging the general public to extend its fullest cooperation, it warned that defaulters will be strictly dealt with, as per the law.
Meanwhile, DNSU vice-president told EastMojo that the seized liquor will be disposed of in the presence of all the CSOs and stakeholders, although a particular date and time was not mentioned.
Earlier on February 21, the DNSU served a seven-day ultimatum to the excise department demanding the closure of all illegal liquor dens and to check the illegal flow of liquor in the district. The excise department, subsequently, conducted several raids in suspected liquor outlets, restaurants, lounges, hotels, and booked 29 offenders under the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act, 1989.
Few civil societies and church organisations have also been demanding the shutdown of all liquor outlets in the state, urging the need to strengthen the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act 1989.
The Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act 1989, “totally prohibits possession, sale, consumption and manufacture of liquor in and of import and export thereof in the state of Nagaland”. With the commencement of the Act, Nagaland became a dry state ruling total prohibition of liquor in the state.
Following the introduction of NLTP Act 1989, the main function of the state’s excise and Prohibition department changed from a regulatory role to enforcement. According to the department, the only source of excise revenue is from sale of liquor to Defense personnel through Canteen Stores Depot and to para-military bonded warehouse and fine amount realized from the excise violators.
As per the latest administrative report of the department, 1,206 persons were arrested between April and October last year for breaching the NLTP Act 1989 with 16,527 bottles of IMFL/beer and 6,937 litres of country liquor being seized. It has reportedly destroyed 21,805 litres of IMFL/beer in Kohima, 7,928 in Dimapur, and 7,313 at its SEMS.
It also mentioned that since the introduction of NLTP Act 1989, the revenue generation of the department drastically reduced. Prior to the introduction of the said Act, the revenue generation of the department in 1987-1988 stood at Rs 584.37 lakh and Rs 550.90 lakh in 1988-89. By 1989-1990, the revenue collection dropped to Rs 110.09 lakh, after which it began to fluctuate between Rs 80 lakh and Rs 340 lakh.
However, in 2012-13, the revenue collection rose to Rs 400 lakh. In the subsequent years, the revenue stood between Rs 300 and Rs 461 lakh, and finally dropping down to Rs 250.98 lakh in 2019-20. It may however be noted that the total revenue generation of the department includes excise duty, fine amount and licence fee.
Overall, the department implements Nagaland Excise Act 1967, the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act 1985, besides the NLTP Act of 1989. It is also authorised to use arms and ammunition for effective enforcement of NDPS Act 1985 and NLTP Act 1989.