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Prohibition comes into effect in Mizoram

 AIZAWL, May 28 - Prohibition was again imposed in Mizoram after four years as the State government notified the Prohibition Act on Tuesday, a senior official said.

The Mizoram Liquor Prohibition Bill, 2019, was passed by the State Assembly on March 20 this year and Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi has given his assent to the Bill.

Excise and Narcotics Commissioner Ngurchungnunga Sailo told this news agency that the notification was issued by the State Law and Judicial Department and published in the State Government’s official gazette.

The prohibition law could not be notified earlier as the office of the State Chief Electoral Officer, following instructions from the Election Commission of India, prohibited notification and enforcement of the dry law till the end of the election process on May 27 as the model code of conduct was in place.

The State Government had earlier announced that the notification would be issued on April 1. While retail liquor shops and bonded warehouses were already closed due to unavailability of liquor stocks, a bar inside a hotel in the heart of Aizawl was closed on Monday night.

With the powerful churches and community-based organisations favouring a stringent prohibition law, Mizoram has virtually been dry all the time since India’s independence.

Though partial prohibition was in place, the State Government allowed opening of liquor shops in 1984 under the provisions of the Mizoram Excise Act, 1973, but the liquor shops and bars were closed from 1987 and partial prohibition continued.

The Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition Act, 1995 was legislated and enforced from February 20, 1997 till January 15, 2015, the day the new law – Mizoram Liquor (Prohibition and Control) Act, 2014 – was notified. With the new Mizo National Front (MNF) Government coming to power after the election to the State Assembly held on November 28 last year, the Government changed its policy and moved towards imposition of the dry law again. – PTI

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