Minorities panel seeks report from Punjab Chief Secretary on liquor policy : The Tribune India

Minorities panel seeks report from Punjab Chief Secretary on liquor policy



Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, September 30

Taking cognisance of a representation of Dr Jagmohan Singh Raju, a retired Additional Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, against the liquor policy of the AAP government in Punjab, the National Minorities’ Commission issued a statutory notice to the Punjab Government and called for an action taken report from the Chief Secretary, Punjab, on or before October 18.

Set Oct 18 as deadline

  • Dr Jagmohan Singh Raju, a retired Additional Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu, had submitted a representation against the liquor policy of the AAP government in Punjab
  • The National Minorities’ Commission has issued a statutory notice to the state and called for an action taken report from the Chief Secretary on or before October 18

In his representation submitted to the National Commission for Minorities, Dr Raju had pointed out that the government, ignoring the religious feelings of Sikhs, who constitute the majority population of Punjab, is pro-actively inducing people of the state to consume more liquor through its excise policy.

According to Dr Raju, the liquor policy infringes on the Fundamental Rights of the Sikhs guaranteed under Article 29 (1) and 25 of the Constitution. Sikhs are not able to conserve their culture and freely profess their religion in face of a hostile liquor policy as it undermines the anti-intoxicant culture of the religion.

Dr Raju said AAP government’s policy was not only anti-Sikhism but also anti-Constitution as Article 47 of the Constitution considers it to be the primary duty of the state to bring about prohibition of consumption of intoxicating drinks and of drugs which are injurious to health. Since the Constitutional safeguards provided to Sikhs have been undermined by the AAP government through its liquor policy, Dr Raju had called upon the minorities commission to exercise its constitutional mandate.

He demanded complete prohibition on sale and consumption of liquor within radius of one mile of historical Sikh gurdwaras such as the Golden Temple, complete ban on smoking and drinking in public places, or dry day should be declared and liquor vends should be opened on alternate days at least on publicly celebrated Gurpurbs.

#Sikhs

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