“The Indian state of Bihar has banned the production and sale of alcohol from April, a move that has been welcomed by church officials and women groups.
‘It is a courageous step and a big blessing for the families indeed,’ said Archbishop William D’Souza of Patna, based in the Bihar state capital.
‘It will not only reduce criminal activity and accidents in society but will also lead to a better family and social life,’said the archbishop.
The state government led by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar amended the Bihar Excise Amendment Bill March 31 and decided to implement a total alcohol ban which came into effect on April 5.
The law stipulates stringent penalties such as capital punishment for anyone producing or trading illicitly made liquor that often leads to the death of the consumer.
Nitish Kumar government came to power for a third five-year term last year and during his electioneering promised women that he would make Bihar a ‘dry’ state.
Hundreds of women’s groups across the state, most of them organized under church organizations, had been agitating for a ban on alcohol, saying it was the root cause of poverty, domestic violence and harassment of women in families.”
(UCA News K. C. Philip, Patna, India, 7 Apr. 2016 Church leaders applaud liquor ban in Indian state)