Sadhus want total ban on liquor during Simhastha fair

  • Sandeep Vatsa, Hindustan Times, Ujjain
  • Updated: Apr 11, 2016 16:29 IST
Sadhus conduct rituals at Ujjaini – the place from where river Kshipra originates in Indore district. (Arun Mondhe/ HT file photo)

Ascetics want a total ban on liquor during month-long Simhastha fair instead of closing down liquor shops only during days of holy dip.

Assistant commissioner of state excise department Pramod Jha told Hindustan Times on Sunday all liquor shops were asked to close their outlets on April 22, May 9 and May 21.

Simhastha fair will start from April 22 and continue till May 21.

Akhara Parishad president Narendra Giri told HT, “Simhastha is the biggest event of Sanatan religion, so sale of liquor and meat will hurt sentiments of lakhs of saints.”

Also, the district administration has not made any announcement about non-vegetarian foods. Collector Kavindra Kiyawat told HT the administration did not take any decision on sale of meat products.

Dinesh Shrivastava, president of Swarnim Bharat Manch, said the collector had ordered shifting of meat shops from 2km periphery of Mahakal temple at least two months ago but nothing happened.

Congress leader Ravi Shukla said the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh should have taken their cue from Bihar where liquor was totally banned.

“Liquor can at least be banned during Simhastha. Loss of some revenue should not be any consideration when Rs 5000 crore is spent on the event,” Shukla said.

Health department sets up camps of ayurvedic doctors

The state health department has roped in more than 58 ayurvedic and unani doctors.

“A lot of saints don’t believe in the power of allopathic medicines. They would rather prefer to get themselves treated by an ayurvedic doctor,” said Dr Sharad Pandit, joint director, health.

“The fair is happening at a time when temperatures will be high in the state. It is, therefore, required to give the saints and the pilgrims some medical assistance to prevent them from falling sick,” Dr Pandit added.

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