‘State government violating Article 47 of the Constitution of India’

An indefinite hunger strike demanding implementation of total prohibition in the State started by a law college student, A. Nandhini, here on Monday is gaining support from students and political parties.

The city police made preventive arrest of Nandhini on Monday night after a day-long fast in front of the Government Law College in K.K. Nagar.

However, she was back at her protest spot within an hour after the police let her off.

On Tuesday morning, the 4 year law student was joined by six more persons, including an advocate, Veerabathran, from Tirunelveli. Among those who are in the hunger strike are S. Vijikumar (2 year law student), P. John Britto, a student of Loyola College, Chennai, and C. Mohan, Maranadu Karuppasamy and Yuvarajan (students of different colleges).

“I have not jumped into the protest all of a sudden. On behalf of law students who wish to see a liquor-free Tamil Nadu, we have sent our memorandum to the Chief Minister, all State Ministers, bureaucrats, and Judges of High Court on March 1, 2013 demanding closure of all TASMAC shops selling liquor,” Ms. Nandhini said.

The memorandum accused the State government of enslaving society to liquor through TASMAC shops violating the law of the land.

Ms. Nandhini said that the Tamil Nadu government was violating Article 47 of the Constitution of India which said that the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption except for medicinal purposes of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health.

“The government, instead of prohibiting liquor, was promoting it through TASMAC shops,” she said.

Stating that many lives have been lost in the State due to addiction to liquor, she said the State government was violating Article 21 of the Constitution that guaranteed protection of life by promoting liquor. Referring to Indian Penal Code Sections 107 and 108 dealing with abetment, she said that intoxication was instigating people to indulge in criminal acts.

While the State government claimed that allowing sale of liquor was a policy issue, she wondered how the policies of a government could violate the Constitution.

Gandhian S.K. Sasi Perumal, who went on an indefinite fast demanding prohibition in the State at Chennai in March, met the fasting students and offered to join them in their protest.

“However, we requested him to take up the message to the people instead of joining in the fast,” Ms. Nandhini, said.

The State president of Bharatiya Janata Party, Pon. Radhakrishnan, called Nandhini over phone and pledged his support to the cause.

Stating that students from various parts of the State were ready to join the protest, Ms. Nandhini said, “I have asked them to protest at their respective places,” she added.

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