Religious leaders and separatist organizations here today criticized the PDP-BJP coalition government for disallowing liquor ban bills in the recently concluded autumn session of the legislature, demanding a complete ban on its sale and consumption in the State.
“About eight bills on liquor ban were presented to the Speaker of the Assembly. But the government under a well planned conspiracy did not table a single bill,” President Karwani Islami, Sheikh Ghulam Rasool Hami, said at a ‘peoples parliament’ organized by the religious body at its headquarters in Shaheed Gunj here.
“Since no discussion was held on the bills, we had no other option than to approach the court,’’ Hami said, adding in the same breath that the body “did not expect justice either from the government or courts”.
He said that every individual in the society has to play his active role to stop illegal trade of liquor, adding, that all the people have to raise their voice against the illict drug even if “we all are jailed”.
Chairman, JKLF, Mohammad Yasin Malik urged the religious preachers to educate parents about responsibilities towards their children.
“Parents don’t spend time with children and as such they feel isolated. We should think about banning liquor and narcotics and also about how we can stop the youngsters from consuming drugs,” Malik said.
Hurriyat (G) senior member, Raja Mehraj-ud-din said ‘liquor trade is flourishing under police protection despite the fact that people want it banned’.
“Liquor is being used as a tool to divert the attention of people especially youth. Despite majority of the people demanding liquor ban here, police give protection to such shops,” he said, adding, that Kashmiris should jointly fight against the menace.
Masroor Abbas Ansari, senior leader of Hurriyat Conference (M) led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that demanding ban on liquor should be made a national cause by the people of Kashmir.
“We should not relate it with our religion rather it should be our national cause. We should raise awareness against it,” Ansari said.
Syed Bilal Kirmani, a religious scholar, claimed that when the liquor bill was passed in JK Assembly in 1970s, only Syed Ali Geelani protested against it.