New Delhi (Sputnik): India has entered its third phase of countrywide lockdown. The initial two lockdowns brought the country to a standstill with only essential services allowed to function. However, the Indian government has permitted liquor stores to open since 4 May.
A large number of local residents continued to line up outside liquor stores on Tuesday despite the Delhi government’s order to levy 70 percent extra tax on liquor from Monday and despite growing concerns for their safety.
Video feeds from India’s national capital city show people waiting outside liquor stores well before they open.
In one video, security forces can be seen asking hundreds of people to abide by social distancing rules for their own safety.
In another video, a drinker outside a liquor store remarked: “We’ve no issue with 70% tax. It’s like a donation from us to the country”. He also advised the security personnel to perform their duties to ensure that people do not break lines and that rules are respected.
Another video shows a man showering flower petals on people standing outside liquor shops in the Chander Nagar area of Delhi. The man can be heard saying “You are the economy of our country, government does not have any money”.
A video emerging from the Uttar Pradesh shows a man stating it feels like he has got his life back and thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and State chief Yogi Adityanath.
After a 41 day dry spell, the Indian government allowed the opening of liquor stores as alcohol taxes provide a large chunk of state revenue. On Monday, the police had to use mild force to disperse crowds who were seen violating the social distancing norms.