Reacting strongly against the state government move to legalised liquor in Manipur, the Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol (CADA) on its 16th foundation day demanded a white paper on the strategy of legalising liquor in the state.
"CADA will welcome any good initiatives taken up by the government, but legalising liquor on the ground of revenue generation alone will not be accepted," CADA president H Priyokumar said while speaking to the media on the sideline of its foundation day programme.
CADA celebrated its foundation day by paying floral tribute to its late founder member Joychandra Nongmaithem and observing a two minutes silence for all the departed souls of former CADA volunteers.
Speaking at the occasion, Priyokumar expressed concerned at the emphasis given on liquor bill during the monsoon Assembly session instead of giving emphasis on other developmental activities.
Lamenting on the state government for keeping the excise department in a defunct state and using it only as a means to earn revenue, he said if the government really want to completely ban liquor, they need to strengthen the Excise department.
He pointed out that the CSOs are the only active groups which monitor the ban of liquor in the state while the law enforcing agencies like state police are monitor it once in a blue moon and the government has not taken up any initiative to strengthen the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act.
Concerning the axiom which stated that drinking one-two pegs of alcohol is good for health, the president said that WHO has never made statement that drinking alcohol is healthy.
Regular consumption of the top class vodka of Russsia, does not make the lifespan of the consumer to extend more than 60 years, he added.
Consumption of liquor does not make a person healthy in one way or another, he said appealing to all to support the movement to completely ban liquor from Manipur in the interest of making a healthy and a sound society.
Delivering the keynote address of the programme, secretary general of CADA Geetchandra Mangang reacted against the statement made by CAFPD Minister L Sushindro regarding his recent tour at Goa along with other MLAs to study the management of liquor.
The minister in a public function had told that, "Every households in Goa brew liquor, and none in Goa suffer from liver illness."
Reacting to it, the secretary general questioned, "How can he confirm that none suffer from liver disease?" "He have to visit hospital to know the fact," he added.
He said, it seems that the MLAs team have not studied on how that Goa government are controlling the sales and uses of liquor.
Geetchandra also stressed the need to further study the tactics played by the Gujarat government to impose strict ban on liquor by the MLA team on top of visiting other states like Bihar and Mizoram.
CSO leaders and media personnel were felicitated with the traditional Lengyan Phee in honour of their contribution in shaping a better society, during the observence.
The function was also attended by president of Nupi Samaj Th Ramani as chief guest; advisor of AMKIL Kh Anandi; vice-president of UCM Yk Dhiren; and co-convenor of JCILPS W Second as guests of honour.