Jamaat Opposes Opening of Liquor Shops, Says Move Will Hamper Fight Against Coronavirus, Increase Crimes
NEW DELHI, MAY 8— Jamaat-e-Islami Hind has opposed the government move to open liquor shops even as the country is fighting against the highly contagious Coronavirus pandemic.
Vice President of Jamaat, Prof Salim Engineer has come out against the opening of liquor shops in the country as part of the business-resumption process under lockdown 3.0.
“We are concerned and oppose the decision of the government to open liquor shops amidst the lockdown and the pandemic still raging throughout the country. As media reports are demonstrating, this has resulted in social-distancing norms being violated in many places and is bound to hamper the efforts at controlling the spread of the virus,” said Jamaat leader.
He also expressed concern that the move will lead to rise in incidents of domestic violence and other crimes in the society.
“With reports of a spike in domestic violence during the lockdown, this will further exacerbate the problem. Alcohol consumption may lead to a spike in the number of cases requiring medicare or engagement with the law enforcement machinery, both of whom are already hard-pressed and overburdened during the pandemic. Hence, we demand immediate withdrawal of the permission to open liquor shops and to persist with the earlier restrictions of alcohol sale,” said Prof Salim Engineer.
Prof. Salim Engineer
He also said that the opening of liquor shops should not be the priority of the government even if it wants to open up the economy.
“We feel that unlocking the retail alcohol business should not be the priority of the government if it wants to gradually open up the economy. Many other businesses of essential commodities should be allowed to operate to ease the difficulties of citizens. The associated health hazards of alcohol consumption and the allocation of state resources on managing accidents due to drunken-driving, domestic violence etc. are perhaps far bigger than the tax levies that the state will get from the liquor business. Even if supposedly the profit is greater than the loss, the silent destruction of individuals, families, and the moral fabric of society cannot be weighed in currency,” said the Jamaat leader.
From May 4, governments allowed to open liquor shops across the country. At several places, huge crowds of people were seen outside the liquor shops, violating all norms of lockdown and social distancing.
The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24 in order to contain the spread of Coronavirus. It was extended on April 14 and again extended on May 3 for 14 days.
Till May 8 morning, the total number of Coronavirus cases crossed 56,000 in the county – while 16539 of them have recovered and discharged, 1886 have died.