Own Correspondent, TDN World, Kolkata: In an unprecedented move, 15,000 women walked down the streets of Kolkata with a firm demand to drive Bengal into a liquor-free state. And spurred by courage and confidence Welfare Party of India gave call for an end of Trinamool regime from this anti-liquor mass-gathering.
Demanding ban on liquor in Bengal Welfare Party, on Monday, led a march for Nabanna. As a result, at the first day of the week, the city of Kolkata suffered from traffic jam. Under the banner of Welfare Party, Women, thousands in number, began their protest march from Ramlila Maidan. Many of them were carrying brooms in their hands to show their utter displeasure against the government’s liquor policy.
Sahajada Parvin, a state leader of Welfare Party told TDN that around 15,000 women took part in the Nabanna-march. The rally headed across Moulali and S. N. Banerjee Road, Police stopped the rally at Dharmatala more causing traffic jam for a while. Two women leader, Sahajada Parvin and Rehena Khatun were detained. They were put inside a police van. Though, a little later they were released. After her release, Rehena Khatun alleged that in spite of being aware of the fact that thousands of women are taking part in the rally, adequate women police were not there. ” Actually, the administration couldn’t not realise how much the mothers in Bengal are getting angry against govt’s pro-liquor policy. One day, when the Trinamool regime will come to an end, they will also remain unaware of it,” said she.
Mansa Sen, the state Welfare Party president, said during 2016, at the leadership of former state president Dr. Rais Uddin the party started the movement and it will continue. While talking over the political effectiveness of their campaign, the party state president said,
“later on, followed by our movement, we saw in Bihar, the government has officially put ban on liquor. And we think we are the pioneers as we were the first to begin the movement against liquor”.
Beside the women, the presence of the youths in the rally was also remarkable. School and college going students gave anti-liquor slogans. Sarwar Hasan, the state General Secretary of the Party said,
“Families are breaking down, youths are getting corrupted, hundreds of people in Bengal have died due to consumption of liquor.
This cannot go on. Revenue is not important than human-life. The government have to think of alternative means. The daughters and mothers in Bengal are coming out on the streets in protest. If this government doesn’t prohibit selling liquor, when we come to power, we will do it”.
The party said that this anti-liquor movement will put an end to the Trinamool regime. The party will fight in the upcoming Lok Sabha election with its demand of liquor-free Bengal.
Elderly people were also found to walk in the rally. The women gave slogan- We want milk, not liquor, we want a liquor-free Bengal. Amid protest-march one activist fell ill followed by a scuffle between the protesters and the police. The man was admitted to a nearby hospital.
Welfare Party leaders further said that they will continue their anti-liquor movement until the government prohibits it in Bengal. In future, they will take up anti-liquor events for indefinite time.
Dr. Rais Uddin, the former state president of Welfare Party of India was present at the protest march. Youths in the rally got encouraged by the speech of this veteran ex-leader. Arafat Ali and Abu Jafar Molla, the state president and the State General Secretary of Fraternity Movement and others have conveyed their opinion in conformity that instead of giving jobs to the unemployed youths, the Trinamool government is providing the youths of Bengal with liquor bottles, the government is trying to turn the Bengal into a drunkards’ society. Among the leaderships, Welfare Party’s state president Sahajan Ali, Mirza Nurul Hasan, Manowara Bibi and others were present in the protest rally.
Welfare Party of India claims itself to be a value-base political party. From its formation year the party has been demanding to eradicate all liquor-stores and replace them with milk-stores for the well-being of the society. In its years-long struggle in Bengal the party has lost Hazi Akhtar Hossain, one of the pioneering leaders and the first martyr in Bengal in anti-liquor movement, who was killed on 10th December 2013 by some anti-social elements. His only offence was that he was building resistance among the villagers against construction of a liquor factory in the village.