Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Madyavirudha Commission chairman Bishop Joshua Mar Ignatius has said that the commission will oppose the State Government's move to reopen 500-odd toddy shops in Kerala.

Inaugurating a meeting organised by the KCBC Madyavirudha Samithi in connection with the International Anti-Narcotics Day celebrations here on Tuesday, he said this was being done under the guise of providing jobs to former arrack workers.

It would be ideal that new job avenues be created by reopening closed down cashew-processing and other such factories.

He deplored the Government's move to keep open liquor shops on the first of every month.

Bishop Ignatius said the Government should take steps to ban pan masalas, which cause mental and physical problems. Though the previous Government had taken a decision to ban pan products within a 500-metre radius, it was not implemented.