Staff Reporter

Sudheeran alleges CPI(M)-mafia-bureaucratic nexus

Says Avaneeshwaram liquor tragedy an offshoot of the liquor policy

Youth Congress demands withdrawal of the liquor policy, resignation of P.K. Gurudasan

KOLLAM: Congress leader V.M. Sudheeran has termed the liquor policy of the Government a ‘silent killer’.

He was inaugurating a dharna by the district committee of the Youth Congress before the office of the Assistant Excise Commissioner here demanding revocation of the liquor policy and resignation of Excise Minister P.K. Gurudasan in the wake of the Avaneeshwaram liquor tragedy. Mr. Sudheeran said that under such a liquor policy it would not be surprising if each division and ward in the State had its own toddy shop in the near future.

He alleged that the policy appeared to be one that aimed at creating a generation of alcoholics. In fact, those who formulated the policy should be listed prime accused in the case. The Avaneeshwaram liquor tragedy was an offshoot of the liquor policy.

The Government’s decision to reopen the 1,610 toddy shops closed down by the previous UDF Government was shocking. How could toddy shops operate without toddy production. “Everyone is aware that it is spirit mixed with spurious toddy which is being sold through most of the shops. This reveals a liquor mafia-CPI(M)-bureaucratic nexus. Spurious liquor trade is being openly promoted.”

Punitive measures

The UDF Government introduced strong punitive measures for ‘abkari’ offences. But the LDF Government diluted the measures to promote the flow of hooch and spirit, he alleged.

Mr. Sudheeran urged the Government to withdraw the liquor policy.

He said that a new policy in consultation with all concerned should be evolved. It should be one that suited the interests of the State.

District president of the Youth Congress P. Jermias presided over the dharna. Congress leaders K.C. Rajan, Kadavur Sivadasan, A. Shahnavas, P. Ramabhadran, Shahida Kamal and Suraj Ravi addressed the gathering.