Band, baaja, brawl: Baraat not allowed on this village put up 7pm

: Worried that drunken brawl between youths and blaring music is disturbing the ‘culture‘ of their village, residents of have imposed restrictions on . The wedding procession should conclude by 7pm, else a fine of Rs 10,000 will be imposed on the organizer.
With a population of 3,500, Belawatti in Belagavi taluk is surrounded by thousands of cashew trees. Though cashew cultivation made the village prosperous, some people make liquor from cashew apple. There are also a number of illicit liquor manufacturing units around the village. With the youths addicted to illicit liquor, public nuisance is a common sight here. Not even a single baraat in the village goes incident-free. Drunken youths dancing to loud music during such events are a common sight. Ugly fight erupts when they are asked to wind up the baraat.

Things went from bad to worse a month ago when a group of about 50 inebriated youths disrupted a three-day spiritual programme in the village.

up, women staged a protest in front of the gram panchayat office, demanding a ban on liquor in the village. The protest shifted to the DC‘s office in Belagavi, but the authorities took no notice of their concern. Finally, an open meeting was held and the and GP members banned the sale of liquor and late-night baraat in the village.

“We passed a resolution in the gram panchayat meeting about three weeks ago. The aim is not to collect money, but to create fear among the youths. The decision has yielded positive result as over 70% of youths have quit alcohol and no unpleasant incident has been reported in the village. The neighbouring villages have appreciated our decision and are planning to impose same rules there,” said Omani Bhogan, a villager.

“Youths of the village were addicted to liquor as there are many illicit liquor manufacturing units around the village. Several families were suffering due to liquor addiction. So we decided to ban liquor manufacturing and sale in the village. Strict action will be taken against inebriated people who create ruckus during wedding processions and other programmes,” said Vaishnavi Monappa Sutar, Belawatti GP president.

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