A. Sarojam remembers that night vividly when, as a child, she had witnessed her playmate being killed by his own drunken father. Years later, in 2000, she lost her husband to alcohol — he was murdered by her drunken brother-in-law. On Wednesday, when she sat in front of the Secretariat here , Ms. Sarojam felt she was doing her bit to support those who suffered like her.

It was Kerala Madya Nirodhana Samiti that launched an indefinite sathyagraha demanding restoration to the local bodies the power to ban the sale of liquor as per Article 232 and 447 of the Panchayat Raj-Nagarapalika Act. The sathyagraha follows an indefinite strike in front of the Malappuram Collectorate in February.

Inaugurating the sathyagraha, senior Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran said the people of the State were suffering from the ill-effects of alcoholism. Though the government had imposed certain restrictions concerning bar timings and age limit for purchase of alcohol, strict measures were yet to be taken to curb the availability of the liquor, he said.