In 'wet' Madhya Pradesh, 14 Gram Sabhas to impose liquor ban

Betul (Madhya Pradesh): Fourteen Gram Sabhas in this district of Madhya Pradesh have passed resolutions against liquor trade and consumption, proposing fines ranging from Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 to be imposed on violators. Madhya Pradesh has no prohibition policy in place, but the anti-liquor resolutions passed by the 14 Gram Sabhas in Bhimpur block of Betul district enjoy wide support of the people, said Bhaiyalal Inave, a former member of the block panchayat, who started the campaign. Inave said he first chose Damjipura village to mobilise public opinion against alcohol consumption. "Damjipura Gram Sabha set up a committee against liquor consumption headed by Banshi Ivne. The villagers also made rules for prohibition of liquor and fixed fines against violations," he said. Damjipura and 13 other villages have decided to impose Rs 20,000 fine on a person who makes or brings liquor to the village, and Rs 10,000 fine on a person who engages in a brawl under the influence of alcohol. The Gram Sabhas also decided that a person informing about liquor vendors and consumers in the village would be awarded Rs 5,000. Betul Superintendent of Police Rakesh Jain said the police will not only cooperate with but also provide security to the individuals and groups campaigning against alcohol trade and consumptuon. Inave said he was inspired by Ramprasad Kavde, a block panchayat member in Khandwa district, whose anti-liquor campaigns have received wide social support in many villages. In addition to Damjipura, other Gram Sabhas in Bhimpur block passing anti-liquor resolutions are: Bhurbhur, Davnia, Bakarjun, Khurda, Batki, Hardadadu, Umarghat, Kekyia Kala, Palanga, Jogli, Batlakala, Mahatpur, and Jawra. A Gram Sabha is the general body of all voting-age people in a village, enjoying many rights under a state's panchayati Raj laws and the Constitution of India.