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Church calls for new alcohol curbs

New law would work against bishops' attempts to render state 'dry' reporter, Kochi

November 23, 2011

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Church leaders today said the government should restrict new licenses for alcohol sales and stop a brewer from opening more outlets in Kerala. A political sub-committee met at Thiruvananthapuram. "We have considered all views regarding the liquor policy and decided to restrict issuing new licenses to hotel bars,"said MM Hasan, a senior Congress leader who heads the committee. The Church is worried about the Kerala government’s draft liquor policy, which would make alcohol “freely available”. The policy proposes that three-star hotels could have a bar license and would relax a ban on sales within 200 meters of places of worship, educational institutions and hospitals. The Church has been campaigning for a liquor-free Kerala. But adoption of the new policy would “foil our attempts and drive the youth to alcoholism,” said Major Archbishop and head of the Syro-Malabar Church George Alenchery. Father Thaithottam, president of Kerala's anti-liquor committee, said the new policy runs counter to assurances given by the ruling coalition and the chief minister. “Alcoholism has destabilized families, leading to suicides, high crime rates and road accidents,” he said. Related reports Church fights state’s liquor policy

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