Liquor shops in East Delhi closed as tipplers throw social distancing haywire


All liquor shops in East Delhi that were opened on Monday were closed as tipplers thronged them throwing the social distancing norms haywire.

Police resorted to mild lathicharge outside a liquor shop in Kashmere Gate after the crowd became unmanageable. A total 150 stand-alone shops were allowed to be opened in the national capital in according with the Home Ministry’s decision to allow liquor in Green and Orange sections across the country.

However, several states, including Kerala and Punjab –two states with high per-capita consumption of alcohol-did not allow the MHA relaxation. In all nine states allowed the liquor sales. Apart from Delhi, the other states are Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Rajasthan.   

Reports from these states said that the scene was more or less same everywhere. Alcohol lovers thronged the shops even before they were opened. Long queues were seen before the liquor shops in all the states.  A man was seen performing rituals outside a liquor shop by breaking the coconut and performing aarti in Karnataka's Kolar.

In Uttar Pradesh, people lined up since early morning to purchase alcohol, as early as 7 am. In Maharashtra, booze lovers thronged liquor stores hours before shutters went up at several places.Mumbai and Pune are under the red zone but the state government notification said standalone liquor shops and those selling non-essential items would be allowed.

However, five districts in Maharashtra have decided not to permit liquor sale. Administrations of Solapur, Aurangabad, Jalna, Buldhana and Amravati districts have issued instructions that liquor shops will not be allowed to open, PTI reported.

In Andhra Pradesh, liquor shops are open but a prohibition tax will be imposed to discourage people from consuming, said Special Chief Secretary to Industries and Commerce Department. The West Bengal government also hiked the excise duty on Indian made foreign liquor by 30 percent (with inputs from agencies).

Image Credit: Yahoo News

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