Srinagar, Feb 12 (GNS): Hurriyat Conference (G) chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Monday demanded a complete ban on the use and sale of liquor in Jammu and Kashmir.

Geelani has appealed to the religious scholars and Ulema to launch a sustained campaign against the use of liquor and aware people about its ill effects on health, society and family relations.

“It is encouraging that people in a state are raising their voice against this evil,” Geelani said in a statement, adding, “We hope everybody will play their role to eradicate this evil from society.”

Expressing surprise and dismay over the speech of legislature members in the state assembly in which they had said “banning the sale of liquor will hit the revenue generation of state”, the Hurriyat (G) chairman termed it totally unjustified. “The other four states of India who have completely banned the sale of liquor do not complain of any loss of revenue and nobody is dying from hunger or poverty,” he said.

Blaming Delhi for loot and plunder of state resources, Geelani said that “we have sufficient avenues to generate income and for meager income from liquor sale, it is unethical and unwise to justify its sale in the state”.

He said the liquor is the mother of all evils which does not only cause cancer like a disease but also disturbs the social fabric by giving birth to many social evils. “Consumption of alcohol destroys the sacred and holy relations of the society and it has become a major cause of domestic violence in societies,” he said.

Geelani said Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority state and the alcohol and its products are totally forbidden for them. “From the very first day we opposed the use and sale of liquor in the state but the ruling class has always acted as a hurdle in the way and they have allowed the liquor business and even provided security and perks to those dealing with its trade,” he said.

Geelani said in 1978 when the bill was presented in assembly, “we opposed it with logic and reasons and advised them not to pass the bill but the then government countered my assertions on the plea that its trade is necessary to boost tourism industry”.

Hurriyat (G) chairman lashed out at PDP for its “submissive” approach for “securing favours” from Delhi and said, “they are mere pawns and puppets and have virtually handed over reigns to BJP cadre and following their dictates with their eyes folded”.

Rejecting the claim of those pleading for its sale in state that banning the liquor in the state, Geelani said the state is rich in water, electricity, forests and many other natural resources, “however, the authorities in New Delhi are busy in looting them from the very first day and the state rulers have not only maintained a criminal silence over this loot, but are extending them every possible support just for the sake of their self-interests and to remain in power.”

Stressing on a complete ban on liquor sale, Geelani appealed to religious, social organizations, intellectuals and clerics to create awareness about consuming liquor and its sale and launch a campaign against its evil effects over young generation and society. (GNS)