Will ban liquor if villagers ask for it: Maharashtra govt

Mumbai: Maharashtra Government today said that it will approve the ban on liquor provided villagers concerned oppose its consumption and respective gram sabhas back such a move.

While speaking during a calling attention motion in the Legislative Council, Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe pointed out that a woman Anganwadi worker was recently beaten up by the liquor lobby in Malegaon for opposing the sale of liquor.

"She was stripped off her clothes and thrashed, but police officials failed to take up her complaint. In Dhasai village in Shahapur tehsil also, women were beaten up for demanding a ban on liquor. Across the state, many women groups from Pune, Thane, Buldana, Ahmednagar, Beed have been demanding the ban," Gorhe said.

She said the number of shops selling liquor has gone up to 140 from 100, after the beating of the woman worker. "Why is there no action taken even when local women constantly keep asking for a ban on liquor sale. The women claim that when they go to police stations they are treated like beggars," she said.

The MLC said the state government should not hesitate to ban liquor if local women ask for it and should also ensure a strict action against illegal liquor shops.

Responding to Gorhe, Minister of State for Home (Rural) Ram Shinde said all district collectors will be instructed to immediately ban the sale of liquor if villagers and gram sabhas demand it.

"We will instruct district collectors to ban liquor in villages if Gram Sabhas of respective villages want it," he said.

He said the government will take strict action against those police officials who do not take cognisance of women's complaints or who do not treat them well.

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