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A day after the Meghalaya government rescinded its order allowing home delivery of liquor, wine dealers and welfare association in Shillong, on April 3 urged Chief Minister Conrad Sangma to grant permission to open the wine shops.

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In a letter to Sangma, the East Khasi Hills Wine Dealers and Welfare Association said the sudden closure of the Wine shops from March 25, has created an immense public demand for their quota of liquor.

“We the wine shops owners have faced immense public pressure in this regard whereby we are getting calls requesting for alcohol requirements,” association president OB Tariang and general secretary Ernest Mawrie stated.

Moreover, they also informed the chief minister that “majority of the people of Meghalaya the consumption of alcohol in moderation has always been a way of life”.

While urging the government to allow opening the of wine shops on allocated days with other essential commodities, the Association assured to adhere to ‘social distancing rule’ and ‘public hygiene’.

On April 2, the state government withdrew its order allowing home delivery of liquor against prescription issued by a registered medical practitioner following reservation raised by the Indian Medical Association, an official said on April 3.

On April 2, the Kerala High Court stayed the state government’s order allowing home delivery of liquor during the lockdown for those with withdrawal syndromes, calling the government order ‘disturbing’ and a ‘recipe for disaster’.

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A bench of the high court comprising justices AK Jayasankaran Nambiar and Shaji P Chaly was hearing separate writ petitions moved by Congress parliamentarian TN Pratapan, the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association and the Indian Medical Association.

The Meghalaya government on March 30 had approved home delivery of liqour on health grounds, strictly against medical prescription.

State excise official had said that it was a temporary measure to cater to the ‘essential health needs’ of ‘genuine customers’ during the 21-day lockdown.

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