Karnataka women demand liquor ban, march to Bengaluru

Bengaluru: Demanding a blanket ban on the sale and consumption of liquor in Karnataka, hundreds of women under the banner of ‘Madya Nishedha Andolana’ led by theatre artist Prasanna began walking from Raichur on 19 January for over 400 kms and reached Bengaluru on Wednesday.

According to reports, the women gathered at the Malleswaram ground but were prevented from going to the Vidhana Soudha by the police.

A release issued by the government said the protesters had urged Karnataka Chief minister H D Kumaraswamy to impose ban on the sale and consumption of liquor in the State. The Chief Minister in response told them that during his previous stint as CM, he had banned arrack and lottery and asked for more time to discuss the issue.

Former MLA B R Patil said he supported the prohibition demand of the women and said he had raised this issue with the then chief minister Siddaramaiah but that no action was taken then.

A women activist addressing the women said they chose 30 January to remind the government that Mahatma Gandhi sacrificed his life for the nation and he wished to see a liquor-free society. She said that it was sad that the government considers liquor as a source of income but not as a social evil. It was surprising to see that even educated policymakers are not aware of the ill effects of liquor, added the activist.

Theatre artist Arundhati Nag also spoke to the gathering and said the government cannot ignore their demand.

It is to be noted that in a tragic incident on Monday, one of the protesters was killed in a road accident near Bengaluru.

NT Bureau