Srinagar: Hurriyat Conference Chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani today demanded the complete and blanket ban on use and sale of liquor in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Liquor is the mother of all evils which not only causes cancer but also disturbs the social fabric by giving birth to many social evils,” the separatist leader said.
Geelani appealed to religious scholars to launch a sustained campaign against the use of liquor and make people aware of its ill effects on health, society and family relations.
It is encouraging that people in the state are raising their voice against this evil, we hope everybody will play their role to eradicate this evil from the society.”Geelani said in a statement,
Referring to a private members bill on prohibition in the Assembly, the Hurriyat leader expressed surprise that the legislators had claimed that a ban on sale of liquor will hit revenue generation process, Geelani said the state is rich in water, electricity, forests and many other resources,
However, the authorities in New Delhi are busy in looting them from the very first day and the state rulers have not only maintained a criminal silence over this loot but are extending them every possible support just for the sake of their self-interest and to remain in power.”
“The other four states of India, which have completely banned the sale of liquor, do not complain of any loss of revenue and even nobody is dying from hunger or poverty,” he said.
Bihar, Gujarat, and Nagaland have banned alcohol while Kerala had introduced partial prohibition.
Consumption of alcohol destroys the sacred and holy relations of the society and it has become a major cause of domestic violence,” he claimed.
Jammu and Kashmir are a Muslim majority state and the alcohol and its products are totally forbidden for them. From the very first day, we opposed the use and sale of liquor in the state but the ruling class has always acted as a hurdle in the way and they allowed the liquor business and even provided security and perks to those dealing with its trade.
Geelani said, in 1978 when the bill was presented in assembly, we opposed it with logic and reasons and advised them not to pass the bill but the then government countered my assertions on the plea that its trade is necessary to boost the tourism industry.