Mrunal Manmay Dash

An anti-liquor outfit in Puri took out a rally on Tuesday demanding a complete ban on the sale and consumption of liquor and other narcotics substances in the ‘Panchakoshi area’ in and around the pilgrim town.

The outfit under the aegis of ‘Milita Odisha Nisha Nibaran Abhiyan’ chose January 30, the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, to take out the protest in Puri.

“We demand complete ban on sale and use of liquor and other narcotics substances in the Panchakoshi area of Puri. We are demanding this for the sake of the youths who are gradually drifting away from spiritualism and from the society due to intoxication,” said a member of the organisation.

“We have seen no liquor shops in the 5-6km radius of religious places in other States. Even the Shankaracharya had said Puri is a place of Gods urging the government to not make it a place of enjoyment,” she added.

Another member said, “Today is the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Shrikshetra is one of the four ‘Dhams’ in Hindu religion. Lakhs of devotees come here every day out of devotion. We are seeing liquor being sold and consumed everywhere in Puri. Forget about the Srimandir, there are liquor shops near school and colleges too. We have been demanding to ban liquor and other narcotics in Puri since a long time. We hope the government will consider our demands this time.”

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