Andhra Pradesh

Liquor shops draw huge crowds as they reopen after 40 days

A policeman caning a person for not following social distancing norm, at Pedavadlapudi of Guntur district.

A policeman caning a person for not following social distancing norm, at Pedavadlapudi of Guntur district.   | Photo Credit: V. RAJU

Police use mild force to prevent trouble; women protest at a few places

About 2,500 liquor outlets that opened across the State on Monday after a gap of 40 days witnessed a heavy rush. People lined up in long queues often violating social distancing norms and even jostled at some places forcing police to use mild force.

At some places, like Agiripalli in Krishna district, local people, especially women, protested against the opening of the liquor vends.

Police tightened security at the liquor shops to prevent any untoward incidents.

The AP Beverages Corporation Limited resumed the sale of liquor at its outlets with the Centre relaxing COVID lockdown norms in green zones. The government, however, issued instructions that social distance should be maintained and consumers should wear masks while purchasing liquor.

Shops were not opened in Prakasam and parts of Krishna district as a precautionary measure.

As the liquor outlets were not opened on the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border, public crossed over from Ramapuram and B.V. Palem to make purchases.

“When lockdown is continuing how can the government open liquor shops? People from different places are crowding the shops without following social distance. There is a threat of a spurt in coronavirus cases due to the sale of liquor,” a woman protester fumed.

Celebrations

In Jangareddygudem in West Godavari district, tipplers danced in front of the shops and celebrated the occasion. Villagers were seen sitting in long queues for liquor at Gannavaram in Krishna district.

At some places, women were seen queueing up for liquor.

Peaceful

“Except the shops located in red zones and containment areas, remaining liquor outlets were allowed to conduct sales,” Inspector General of Police (IGP-Enforcement) Vineet Brijlal told The Hindu.

However, the district Collectors and the local police could take a decision whether to allow liquor sale depending on the rush and the law and order situation there.

“The liquor outlets will be kept open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. As per the information, a majority of the shops were opened, but a few on Tamil Nadu border were not allowed to do sales. Compared to other States, sale of liquor went off peacefully on Day One,” the IGP, who is also the Director (Prohibition and Excise), said.

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 5:30:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/liquor-shops-draw-huge-crowds-as-they-reopen-after-40-days/article31505712.ece

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