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India Running of the Bulls News: Liquor Store Open in Running of the Bulls, Chaos Continues | India News


NEW DELHI: A flood of people after a long period of drought. Queues, chaos and lathic charges marked Monday even as some states reported a hike in excise tax revenue as liquor stores reopened.

In Mumbai, a five-hour flip-flop within the bureaucracy on whether to allow liquor stores to open left people waiting until 3 p.m., when the order finally came. However, many had to return empty-handed as most of the owners decided to open only on Tuesday morning.

In places like Solapur City and Aurangabad, district administrations did not allow liquor stores to reopen.

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Bengaluru saw serpentine tails and non-compliance with the rules of social distancing. Many people hired to replace them. The city also saw large numbers of women queuing, although many said they were uncomfortable with the men who were nearby. Some complained of being pushed and even booed by men in queues. Some liquor stores in Kaggadaspura, Whitefield and Electronics City, which saw a reasonable footprint of women, decided to form a separate row for them.

Euphoric store owners went out of their way to greet customers. In Kolar, Karnataka, when Lakshmamma, a 75-year-old regular drinker, approached a liquor store, the store owner wanted her to be the first customer, as her name meant “Lakshmi”. A video showed a store owner bathing flower petals at UP’s Mirzapur customers.

Social distancing was also a shock in Calcutta, forcing police officers to resort to a mild lathicharge in places.

The cities of Uttar Pradesh also saw long queues. Officials from the special tax department said a sale of more than Rs 100 crore was recorded on Monday against an average daily sale of Rs 70-80 million. The state capital Lucknow witnessed a sale of Rs 6.3 crore during the day, although the duration of the sale was four hours less.

Statewide reports suggested that many store owners had to close in the afternoon after they ran out of stock.

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In Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh, people drew parallels with the frenzy seen after Cyclone Hudud in 2014. “I had seen long lines in front of liquor stores a day after the cyclone. It was the same on Monday, ”said a Vijayawada resident.

In Rajasthan, chaotic scenes were witnessed in front of most liquor stores, forcing the excise department to order store closings within two hours of opening. Authorities now plan to deploy special police and introduce a token system.

Like Mumbai, the people of Chandigarh also had to wait until noon since there were no instructions from the special tax department.

In Raipur, while thousands were in the sweltering heat to buy their share of alcohol, the government offered a solution: an app for home delivery, but only in green areas.

Women in the Mahasamund district of Chhattisgarh organized a protest against the government movement to open liquor stores. They said that the liquor shutdown had brought peace to families.

(With contributions from Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Kolkata, Jaipur, Vijayawada, Bhopal and Raipur)

Times of India