Anna Hazare seeks total prohibition in Maharashtra

Govt promises to work on demands made by senior social activist

Mumbai: The state government would work actively on demands made by senior anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare regarding prohibition, minister of state for excise Vijay Deshmukh assured the state assembly here on Wednesday.

Hazare had a meeting with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis where he handed him a letter of demands regarding prohibition in the state. “The state government should consider imposing prohibition as liquor consumption is the principal cause behind rising accidents,” he said.

“In my village at Ralegaon Siddhi there were 40 liquor distillation plants and we removed them all and for the past 20 years, no one in my village drinks alcohol, or consumes tobacco,” Hazare said. “If the people’s will is strong and the government gives support, it is possible to implement total prohibition,” he added while speaking to media after the meeting.

The roots of incidents like gang rape and murder in Kopardi – where a minor girl was gang raped and murdered brutally by three men – were in alcoholism, Hazare said, adding that due to increasing alcoholism, crimes were on the rise.

Police have failed to curb illicit liquor supply, he said, after his around half-an-hour meeting. “We suggested that government should constitute ‘anti liquor committee’ at state, district and tehsil level, spread the message of prohibition while allocation of the symbol while conducting election in the Gram Sabhas and allocation of certain percentage of the excise duty on the awareness programmes. Chief Minister assured me to bring a bill for the constitution of the units to control the spread of illegal liquor dens. I think the formation of such groups will help in effective control at the village level,” he added.

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