Despite being a dry state, barring a few pockets, poll-bound Manipur will enforce three dry days on the Election Commission of India's order.
What's more, the military, paramilitary, armed police and Manipur Rifles, which have exemption under the Manipur Liquor Prohibition Act (MLPA) 1991, will have to obey the blanket ban.
The first dry spell will begin 3pm on January 26 till 3pm on January 28, the polling day. The third no alcohol day would be on March 6, when votes will be counted.
Sekmai and Phayeng villages in Imphal West district and Andro in Imphal East district, besides a few other tribal pockets in Imphal, are exempt from purview of the state's liquor prohibition act on account of their customary laws.
In a month-long drive, a 21-member special enforcement team of the state excise department has so far seized 7,491 litres of country liquor, 174 cases of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and five bottles of beer worth nearly Rs 2 lakh. Till January 20, the department had registered 82 cases.
"We cannot go beyond the boundary of customary laws, but will continue our drive against the liquor business and IMFL," said state excise department assistant commissioner K Joykumar. "We have alerted all the excise department posts including those at the entry points of the state to do the needful."