A religious body has criticized the PDP-BJP coalition government for disallowing liquor ban bills under a well-planned “conspiracy” in the recently concluded autumn session of the legislature, and demanded a complete ban on the illicit drug. “About eight bills on liquor ban were presented to the Speaker of the Assembly. But the government udner a well planned conspiracy did not table a single bill,” said President Karwani Islami Sheikh Ghulam Rasool Hami at a ‘Peoples parliament’ organized by the religious body at its headquarters in Shaheed Gunj here. “Since no discussion was held on the bills, we had no other option than to appraoch the court,’’ Hami said, adding in the same breath that the body did not expect justice either from the government or courts. Hami siad the government leased out land for bars but did not permit religious gathering in Kashmir. He said that every individual in the society has to play his active role to stop illegal trade of liquor, adding, that all the people have to raise their voice against the illict drug even if “we all are jailed”. Besides Hami, Hurriyat groups’ vhiefs and members also spoke during the event, who all demanded a ban on liquor in Kashmir. Chairman JKLF Mohammad Yasin Malik urged upon the religious preachers to educate parents about their responsibilities toward their children. “Parents don’t spend time with children as such they feel isolated. We should think about banning liquor and narcotics as well and about how can we stop our youngsters from consuming drugs,” Malik said. Hurriyat (G) Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani’s senior member, Raja Mehraj-ud-din said liquor is being flourished by police protection despite people want it banned. “Liquor is being used as an armed tool to divert the attention of people especially youth. Despite majority of the people demanding liquor ban here yet police gives protection to such shops,” he said, adding, that Kashmiris should jointly fight against the menace. Masroor Abbas Ansari, senior leader of Hurriyat Conference (M) led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that demanding ban on liquor should be made a national cause of the people of Kashmir. “We should not relate it with our religion rather it should be our national cause. We should raise awareness against it,” Ansari said. Syed Bilal Kirmani, a religious scholar, said that when the liquor bill was passed in JK Assembly in 1970s, only Syed Ali Geelani protested against it.
2015 Kashmir Despatch