Inspired by Anna, 70-year-old on hunger strike to make his village liquor-free

Inspired by the anti-corruption movement of Anna Hazare, a 70-year-old man, Janardan Sahu, has begun a hunger strike in front of the Sambalpur collector’s office on Friday demanding removal of liquor shops from his village, Laida.

Criticizing the sluggish attitude of the excise officials of the district, Sahu said officials had assured him to remove country liquor shops from the village a year ago, but instead of doing that, the department has given license to a new foreign liquor shop in the village.

“Village Laida is the birth place of several eminent persons including freedom fighter Rajib Lochan Tiwari, but the village has become a village of drunkards. So we demand that the government removes liquor shops from the village with immediate effect,” the septuagenarian, who is the president of a social body, Dinabandhu Seva Sanstha, said.

Sahu said he had raised the issue before the excise superintendent, the collector and the police head of the district. Last year, the excise superintendent had assured him to remove the country liquor shop from the village, but he did not take any step in this regard. He said the government might get huge revenue by opening liquor shops in the village, but in return, the young generation of the village would be totally spoiled.

“I appealed to the government to review its decision as it would have a bad impact to the environment of the village”, the old man said, adding, “I will fight for this cause like Anna Hazare.”

“It is the decision of the government and we can not remove the shops unless there is a direction from the government,” an excise official of the district said.

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