Delegation from the district urges RDC to take action

A delegation from Kandhamal district met Revenue Divisional Commissioner (southern division), Chandrasekhar Kumar on Saturday in the city demanding complete end to manufacture and sale of country liquor in this communally volatile district.

This 15-member delegation comprising representatives of the women's organisation ‘Mada Virodhi Mahila Sangathan (MVMS)' and the tribal organisation Lok Sangram Manch (LSM) placed four demands before the RDC. According to the members , the RDC gave them a patient hearing and promised to take up the matter with the government.

Their first demand was complete abolition of manufacture and sale of country liquor . According to them, flow of country liquor would only hamper peace in the district. They wanted the administration and police to withdraw cases lodged against the anti-liquor activists, especially women who have been playing an active role in the campaign. .

Members of the MVMS Susila Pradhan and Simili Pradhan alleged that police were harassing women who were identifying and rounding up illicit liquor traders. “At times we are being implicated in false cases while the illicit liquor traders are allowed to go scot free by the police,” they said. They cited a case in Saniketa panchayat where the illicit liquor trader caught by the women activists was let free by police but police did not hesitate to register case in the name of women activists as per the allegations made by the liquor trader. The delegation also met the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, southern range, R.K.Sharma and demanded withdrawal of cases against anti-liquor activists.

Anti-liquor activists have been holding demonstrations in front of the office of the Kandhamal Collector at Phulbani since April 13 to oppose opening of new liquor outlets in this communally volatile area.