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Drink at your own risk here

If you dare to drink in villages falling under Bali panchayat in rural Patna, you may get punched in full public view, reports Ramashankar.
None | By Ramashankar, Patna
UPDATED ON JAN 30, 2007 03:08 AM IST

Boozers beware! If you dare to drink in villages falling under Bali panchayat of Fatuha block in rural Patna, you may have to cough up a hefty amount of cash and get punched in full public view.

Surprised. Yes, the Bali panchayat, has enforced total prohibition in areas falling under its jurisdiction. As per the resolution adopted by the panchyat a fortnight ago, a person caught drinking at a public place will have to pay Rs 251 as penalty and receive five punches (ghusas) in full public view.

The panchayat has also fixed penalty for those involved in selling illicit liquor. A person, caught selling liquor, will have to pay Rs 551 as penalty and receive 10 punches. The panchayat adopted the novel resolution in the wake of frequent complaints received from women, who were the worst sufferers.

Deputy Mukhiya, Ranjan Kumar, said the people are bring made aware of the panchayat’s resolution through traditional system of blaring dugduggi (beating of drums) in villages, including Sahora, Bareya, Ramjichak, Sotichak, Laskarichak, Parsa and Bali. The population of this panchayat is about 2000.

The deputy Mukhiya said, “Liquor is the root cause of all the social evils. A person commits crime under the influence of liquor or is compelled to do wrong even beating up womenfolk in the family. Several families have been ruined due to consumption of liquor. You will see the results of the new resolution soon.”

Some villagers said the Bali panchayat has a history of voracious drinkers. Some senior citizens expressed their concern over rising trend of liquor consumption in younger generation. “We took the decision of banning the consumption of liquor to save the youngsters,” said Laxmi Singh.

The womenfolk are all praise for the panchayat members for enforcing the ban on consumption of liquor. “My husband, a shopkeeper, used to return home late in the night, drunk. He is a habitual drunkard. But, he has stopped drinking after the announcement of the panchayat’s new resolution,” said Sita Devi, a resident of Sahora.  

Innocent children and over-worked rural women would be the biggest beneficiaries of the new law enforced by the Panchayat. They are sure of at least one thing - hard-earned money would no more be wasted on liquor!

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