Guwahati: The extension of dry days in Mizoram has brought the liquor dealers to loss which was called during the Christmas but now the ban on the liquor has been extended till March 10 by Mizo's National Front (MNF).
The Mizoram Liquor Vendor's Association and each owner of the State's three bonded warehouses filed separate lawsuits in the Aizawl Bench of the Gauhati High Court seeking to know how their losses would be recovered and whether the government has any prohibition policy for dry days.
The court has set January 22 as the hearing date for the issue and that the state government should produce the proceedings of the Cabinet meetings leading to the imposition of dry days.
The government closed down nine state-run liquor shops from December 21 to January 14 after the cabinet meeting held on December 18 last in view of Christmas and New Year eve. However, the government has cited reasons of extension of ban on liquor sale till March 10 due to Republic Day and Chapchar Kut festival after the second Cabinet meeting held on January 10.
The vendors' association and the warehouse owners now hope that the court would decide on whether or not to continue with the dry days. The liquor dealers asked the state government to come out with an exit policy with a timeframe for them to phase out the business as the uncertainty has led to piling up of liquor stock since the dealers have to honour their permits for purchase till March.
It is to be mentioned that MNF had promised to bring back the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act (MLTP), 1995 which was replaced in 2014 by Congress.
The origin of Prohibition of Act states that after the signing of agreement for peace accord between MNF & Indian Government, society gradually changed with increased drinking patterns, unemployment, rapid economic change and urbanization lead to increased crimes. Many of the Mizo people found it hard to adjust to the rapid change in society from bamboo age to the modern age. Many localities found it hard to deal with the drunken brawls and had even made small cages where drunk people were caged. In order to restrict petty crimes, family violence and bring stability to society, Prohibition was advocated by the society & Church.
Also Read: Mizoram News