Deviating from his separatist politics, chairman of Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has decided to fight "social evils".
Following a concensus by a majority of clerics in the Valley, Mirwaiz warned the government against promotion and sale of liquor in the Valley. Mirwaiz has asked the government to ban liquor in Kashmir or face agitation.
He alleged that sale of liquor "tarnished the image of Kashmir as a Muslim-majority region."
Jammu and Kashmir is not a dry state and sale of liquor is legal. "Our society is neck-deep in social evils.
Liquor is being sold openly in shops, restaurants, bars, clubs and our youth have become drug addicts," Mirwaiz said while addressing a religious conference at Mirwaiz Manzil, in old city. The conference was attended by clerics from across the Valley.
"The government has given free license to some people to sell liquor on the pretext of giving fillip to tourism. We are not against tourism, which contributes greatly to the state's economy. But we will not allow tourism promotion at the cost of violation of basic principles of Islam," Mirwaiz had said on Wednesday.
"Let us be very clear that we will not allow this. We ask the government to announce a complete ban on the sale of liquor in Kashmir. If government fails, we will take to roads," Mirwaiz said.
For the Valley's head cleric drug abuse also seemed a major concern. Urging parents to keep an eye on their children, Mirwaiz said, "I met a couple of doctors recently and they told me that youth have fallen prey to drugs. They take codeine, corex, alprax and what not? Here I want to ask the police what they are doing to curb the drug menace," he said.