Organizers of the meet said that they will be making a cohesive action plan and organize public debates to garner support from the masses.
“We had organized a meeting 15 days ago to initiate some steps against the prohibition rules. We got an impressive response following which we decided to take our plans further and launch state-wide agitation democratically,” said Rajiv Patel, a city-based architect, who runs a group ‘We do not need prohibition in Gujarat’.
The group has more than 27,000 members on its social media page.
“People from Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Bharuch and Anand are expected to attend the meet that will also be videographed. A short film of the meet will then be uploaded on youtube for the masses. This meeting will set the tone for the coordinated efforts by citizens’ groups from across the state. Also we will collect 10 lakh signatures on the petition that will be submitted to the state government,” Patel told TOI.
The meetings are a fallout of a police raid at Akhand farmhouse in Sevasi on December 22 last year.
The cops had booked 271 persons for consuming liquor during a pre-wedding ceremony at the farmhouse owned by a city-based industrialist. All the guests were taken to SSG Hospital for medical check-up and the alleged harassment caused to senior citizens had sparked resentment among the guests.
“We want the state government to debate the prohibition policy and decriminalize the offence of liquor consumption. Under the new ordinance, it will be easy to harass any citizen and jail him or her for months,” Patel added.
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