Aizawl, April 19: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga confirmed that his party, Mizo National Front (MNF), will maintain total prohibition in the state, following reports of some church leaders and community leaders favoring the reopening of wine shops.

In a statement, Zoramthanga stated that the MNF opposes the repeal of the total prohibition law, adding that the state has witnessed the disastrous impact of alcohol in the past.

Mizoram has been under total prohibition since 1997, with violators facing imprisonment and fines. However, over the years, there have been debates on whether to revoke the law. Many activists argue that it leads to bootlegging and raises the prices of liquor, leading to increased cases of spurious alcohol.

Additionally, they believe that imposing a blanket ban violates individual freedom and promotes corruption in the state.

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On the other hand, several churches and civil society organizations support the law, stating that alcohol consumption leads to violence, crime, and social issues. Proponents of the law also believe that it has led to a reduction in road accidents and other health hazards related to alcoholism.

Zoramthanga’s affirmation comes at a time when the state is grappling with drug abuse, with officials recording a rise in drug seizures and drug-related arrests in the past few years.

A 2020 report by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) revealed that the state has the highest per capita seizure rate of heroin in the country, with an increasing trend of opium and marijuana cultivation. The CM has been vocal about his government’s efforts to tackle drug abuse and has called for a collective effort to combat the issue.