Mizoram is going to once again become a dry state from April 1 this year, reported NDTV. This was one of the important promises that the current government- Mizo National Front promised before hurling out the Congress government by winning 26 seats in the 40-member House last year.
Citing an increase of untimely deaths in the state due to road accidents after consuming alcohol, the current government has passed the Mizoram Liquor Prohibition Bill 2019, to ban consumption, manufacture and sale of liquor for the general public.
The proposed bill will cover the whole Mizoram except three autonomous district – Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC), Lai Autonomous District Council (LADC) and Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC)
K Beichhua, the State Excise and Narcotics Minister introduced the bill the Assembly on March 21. The bill was passed without facing any opposition.
The minister stressed on the fact that youths getting killed in road accidents has skyrocketed. Vanlalthlana, a legislator from the Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) pointed the recent liquor ban in Bihar and said the move had plummetted the crime rate in that state. Voicing for the bill he said, “While crime against women was reduced to 13% after the liquor ban in Bihar, incidents of rape declined too.” The violation of the proposed law by selling, possessing, manufacturing, exporting and importing liquor will be punished for a term that may extend to five years with a fine of Rs 1 lakh. The law further state that if a person violates the law by consuming alcohol or behave disorderly under the influence of alcohol, a fine of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 will be imposed or the accused will be imprisoned for a maximum of six months or two years respectively, reported EastMojoNews.
Just before the last year’s state assembly election, the Congress and MNF sparred over alcohol ban. While MNF promised a total ban, the Congress rebuked it. Whereas the BJP government went neutral and tapped in for partial ban with locally-produced liquor to be allowed. The Church bodies which play a crucial role in the elections went for a complete ban.
The state was a dry state between 1997 and 2015. After the Congress government came into power they lifted the ban. During this time, the liquor shops flourished. Congress vindicated the move by citing revenue generation and drop in spurious liquor-related deaths.