The Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) commissioner has proposed legalising the sale of beer in a bid to deter narcotics abusers from using deadly drugs.
Alcohol is prohibited according to Bangladeshi law and is frowned upon in the Muslim-majority society as it is considered an intoxicant and therefore forbidden in Islam. But there are provisions for foreigners and non-Muslims to consume alcohol.
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Commissioner Iqbal Bahar on Sunday came up with the suggestion to legalise beer at a meeting on the law and order situation of five districts under Chittagong division in line with the current status of the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar.
“If the sale of beer was made legal, a huge number of drug addicts could possibly become more interested in it and stay away from yaba and other more harmful drugs,” he told the meeting held at the Circuit House.
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His comments have taken social media by storm since Sunday afternoon, eliciting both positive and negative reactions.
When reached for comment, the CMP chief told the Dhaka Tribune: “It’s my personal opinion. If we legalise beer, many drug addicts will prefer it as it is the lesser of two evils (other drugs).”
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Iqbal said, “The government already has two projects under which beer will be produced and exported. If sale of beer is made open in the local market, it just might yield a positive result.”
“If the government wants, then the Directorate of Narcotics Control, Social Welfare Department and other concerned bodies can legalise it.”