Shillong, December 22: Dry day on Christmas and New Year will be observed in Meghalaya's East Khasi Hills district, including state capital Shillong, as the administration has barred the sale of liquor on the two Christian festival days. The administration has also ordered the imposition of Section 144 CrPC - preventing the gathering of more than four people in public - on December 25, 2018 and January 1, 2019 - to prevent mobilisation of people.
Meghalaya has followed the suit of neighbouring Mizoram, where the new government headed by Zoramthanga has banned the sale of alcohol till January 14. The decision was taken in consultation with the Church, which has advocated for an all-season ban on liquor in the north-eastern state. The order came into effect on Friday.
Ahead of the recently contested assembly elections in Mizoram, prohibition was one of the key issues raised among the electorate. While the incumbent Congress had proposed a regulatory framework, the Mizo National Front had promised to completely bar liquor sale if elected to power.
In Meghalaya, the Christmas festivities have been dampened, with an intense operation underway to rescue 14 miners trapped inside a rat-hole in East Jaintia Hills. Prayers have been held across the state for their lives, with the state administration, along with the Centre's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), racing against time to bring them out alive.