The shop (below) is in a building in one of the crowded market areas of Aizawl with nothing to advertise it to the outside world. But a steady stream of people are entering it, clutching what looks like a booklet in their hands. Inside, a policeman keeps an eye as the merchandise is handed over to customers while four cashiers behind two counters write down details of the purchases in the booklets or liquor cards. A customer can buy six bottles of IMFL (750ml) and 10 bottles each of wine and beer every month for their "personal bonafide consumption". Visitors from outside the state can make purchases by producing their Inner Line Permit.
According to Professor Margaret Zama of Mizoram University, in the pre-Christian times, zu or rice beer was an integral part of Mizo society and a part of rituals conducted by chieftains. As conversion picked up pace, adherents of the new faith marked out prohibition as a way of curtailing consumption of zu and along with it the aura of the chieftain.