A viral video has uncovered a blatant violation of Nagaland’s alcohol prohibition laws, raising serious questions about the state’s regulatory framework and governance. Upon a brief search, MT found that the video was uploaded by the Daniel & Roohi YouTube channel on August 7, 2022, under the title ‘Nagaland for Hypocrisy | Development Maker Vlogs‘ which has resurfaced recently.

The video reveals premium alcohol being sold at Noune Resort, owned by the Niathu Group.

The irony is glaring: Nagaland, under the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition Act of 1989, is by law a dry state, yet a luxury resort allegedly flouts this prohibition with impunity.

Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio himself has acknowledged the failure of the prohibition laws on multiple occasions, a sentiment echoed throughout the state.

In March 2023, the Rio-led government decided to permit the sale and consumption of liquor to foreign delegates attending the scheduled April G20 meet. In December 2023, the Dimapur Urban Council Chairmen Federation (DUCCF) also submitted a memorandum to the Nagaland Government demanding the repeal of the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act from Dimapur district.

In January 2024, Moatoshi Longkumer, Advisor for Labour, Employment & Skill Development and Excise, maintained that lifting the Nagaland Liquor Total Prohibition (NLTP) Act would generate revenue for the state.

There was also an attempt to partially lift the NLTP Act from FY 2022, but it was met with resounding backlash from civil society organizations. Many civil society organizations argued that the NLTP Act empowered the state government to develop a detailed and comprehensive strategy to curb the issue rather than partially or fully lifting the Act.

Meanwhile, the church strongly opposed the lifting of the NLTP Act, resulting in the CM Rio-led government’s failure to completely remove the Act. However, this controversy raises critical questions about accountability and enforcement mechanisms in Nagaland. Questions linger over whether existing mechanisms are sufficiently robust to prevent such lapses. Who holds the responsibility for upholding the law and ensuring its equal application to all citizens? How can such lapses in regulatory oversight persist in a state where legal boundaries are supposed to be clear and firm?

Moreover, the video’s commentary poignantly satirizes the dual realities of Nagaland—a state grappling with basic infrastructure challenges, such as roads lacking proper surfacing, while hosting pockets of luxury seemingly operating above the law. It questions the sincerity of the state’s commitment to its own legislation and priorities in the face of such glaring contradictions.

As reactions pour in following the video’s circulation, it remains to be seen whether this viral exposé will spur meaningful reforms in Nagaland’s approach to prohibition and governance or if it will be relegated to yet another unheeded call for change.

MTNews

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