Makes a strong case for enacting a law on the lines of Bombay Prohibition Act

About 15,000 people, including Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) founder S. Ramadoss and former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, were taken into custody for attempting to lock liquor outlets, owned by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) in different parts of the State on Monday. The protesters were demanding closure of liquor shops and total prohibition in Tamil Nadu.

Barring those held for specific offences, most of them were released in the evening, police said.

Addressing the protesters in Chennai, Dr Ramadoss demanded that the State government close down TASMAC liquor shops in a phased manner, at the rate of 500 shops a month, culminating in the closure of all shops by October, 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The PMK leader also made a strong case for enacting a law on the lines of the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, which allows local parties to go for voting to decide on allowing liquor shops in their areas.

Besides demanding weekend holidays for TASMAC employees, he said shops should be closed three days prior to all important festivals, including Deepavali and Pongal.

While Dr. Ramadoss was arrested in Chennai, his son and Dr. Anbumani was taken into custody at Villuppuram. PMK leaders G.K. Mani, R. Velu and others were also arrested.

In Tiruvannamalai, PMK cadres allegedly hurled a petrol bomb into a TASMAC outlet that caused minor damage to property. At six places, the agitators managed to lock liquor shops.

“At least 100 PMK partymen, who indulged in specific offences are being sent for judicial custody. All others were released on Monday evening. The protesters included a large number of women,” a police official said.