DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 12: With the invitation of an ‘honoured guest’ to the inaugural function of this year’s Nagaland Olympic & Paralympic Games inadvertently providing a neat peg of irony, the campaign launched last year by civil society organisations (CSOs) of Dimapur to browbeat Nagaland Government into removing the facade of liquor prohibition from Dimapur took the shape of something more concrete on Monday.
After submitting two memoranda last year calling for exemption of Dimapur District from the ambit of Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act, the CSOs have now decided to endorse Dimapur Urban Council Chairmen Federation (DUCCF) to pursue its target.
“We have gathered here to assess the progress of the representations (submitted last year). And we have decided that the CSOs will take up the issue with the Government. For that, we have fully authorised and endorsed DUCCF to pursue it with the Government”, the President of Naga Council Dimapur (NCD) Etsungmomo Kikon told a press conference.
Besides DUCCF, the campaign will have all the respective Presidents of Dimapur CSOs as members.
Kikon explained that after their submission of memoranda last year, the Governor had relayed the message that he had forwarded them to the Chief Secretary. The CSOs had urged the Governor to put up for urgent discussion the matter of lifting NLTP Act in Dimapur district in last year’s NLA winter session.
There were also news reports of the Chief Minister admitting to receiving the representation. However, the Dimapur CSOs, which function under the aegis of NCD, were yet to receive any response from the Chief Minister’s office, he said.
Ironically, Nagaland Olympic Association, whose President is Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, has invited Girish Shenoy, Head of Sales at United Breweries ~ one of India’s top liquor companies ~ as one of the honoured guests at the inaugural function of Nagaland Olympic & Paralympic Games 2024.
United Breweries is known for, among others, its Kingfisher beers. Its whisky portfolio includes brands such as McDowells No. 1, Royal Challenge, Signature and Antiquity. The Company also has non-alcoholic brands.
Meanwhile, tasked with spearheading the campaign to exclude Dimapur from the purview of NLTP Act, the President of DUCCF, Zasivikho Zakiesato, said that they will have to go for mass consultation with leaders of CSOs and tribal bodies in Dimapur.
“We will ensure that we leave nobody aside and have consultation with every section of the society here in Dimapur”, he said.
In August last year, the CSOs of Dimapur had reminded Governor La Ganesan that they “aspire to lift this Act from Dimapur District with proper mechanism”.
They had reminded that continuous appeals have been issued to both public and the authorities “for complete closure of liquor outlets; but to our observation, the NLTP Act, 1989 has become a mockery, where there is about nearly 1000 liquor outlets in Dimapur area itself”.
(Page News Service)