Lucknow: After Jammu and Kashmir, a demand has been made in Uttar Pradesh for banning liquor, with a Muslim organisation saying there should be prohibition in the state which is a "land of faith for both Hindus and Muslims". The Ittehad-e-Millat Council plans to launch a state-wide campaign for its demand.
The Council also voiced concern over slaughter of cows on mass scale without proper arrangements for cattle breeding like poultry, saying if the situation continues, a time will come when "our children will not get milk" to drink.
"Consumption of liquor is considered bad in all religions and Uttar Pradesh is a land of faith for both Hindus and Muslims," its President Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan told PTI.
"If liquor is sold in UP, then it means that it is sold in a place of pilgrimage," said Khan who claimed to have already talked to Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav in this regard.
Bareilly in the state, he particularly noted, is the centre of faith for Sunni sect and Deobandis.
The demand for liquor ban comes close on the heels of a similar one in Jammu and Kashmir where a religious organisation Karwan-e-Islami has moved the High Court to seek prohibition in the state. The HC yesterday asked government to give its view by October 6 on the plea.
The Maulana said availability of liquor in UP has been made so easy that even minors can access it.
"I have seen minors having drinks at juice stalls. I have told the government that if liquor is banned in UP, both Hindus and Muslims would appreciate," he said.
Contending that in Islam, liquor has been termed as mother of all evils, the Maulana said henious crimes like murder, rape and dacoities could be checked if it is banned. He refused to accept the argument that ban on liquor would result in loss of revenue and cited the case of Gujarat.
"The revenue loss can be compensated by other means, but loss of religion cannot be compensated. For example, liquor is banned in Gujarat, but there is no impact on revenue," he said, adding "When there is a ban on liquor in birth place of Mahatma Gandhi, then why is it allowed in the land of Ram and Krishna?"
The Maulana said though sale of liquor could not be stopped completely, the move would certainly ensure that it is not available to the minors. Khan said that the Council would launch a full fledged campaign after panchayat polls were over in the state.
"We are not launching the campaign right now as it may give it a political colour," said the chief of the Millat Council. On the issue of mass slaughter of bovine animals, he said beef was being exported in large scale from the country but unlike poultry there was no arrangement for breeding of the cattle.
"Every slaughter house is required to have a breeding farm, but it is not being followed, while cattle are being slaughtered in large number. If the situation remains so, then a day will come when our children will not get milk to drink," he said.
Earlier, a Muslim MLA of Samajwadi Party, Zameerullah Khan had launched 'Gaye Bachao Andolan' (Save the Cow campaign) motivating members of the community to take a vow not to slaughter cows or consume its meat.