With India under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a shortage of supply in alcohol which has left many across the country yearning for a drink.
To help ease the matter, Kumar, a Hyderabad resident on Sunday distributed alcohol pegs amongst the people in the state's old city. However he was arrested on Monday by the Rachakonda Police after the video went viral on social media.
"Yesterday, while I was returning to my residence in Hyderabad's old city after completing my work, I noticed in Champapet area that a woman suffering from convulsion/fits due to alcohol. She was shifted to a hospital later on," Kumar had said.
Finally, @RachakondaCop have arrested the person who had distributed #liquor to daily wage labourers at Champapet X road in #Hyderabad during the lockdown. @RachakondaCop @PIBHyderabad @payalmehta100 @TelanganaDGP @KTRTRS @cyberabadpolice #COVID2019 pic.twitter.com/cLwAngqcYF— Balakrishna.M (@Balakrishna096) April 12, 2020
"I had an alcohol bottle at my residence. So, I thought of distributing alcohol pegs to such people," he added.
Kumar said that he had been distributing the alcohol not with the intention breaking rules but to help those who were suffering due to the lockdown.
India's first stage of lockdown which was expected to end on April 14, is set to be extended through the month. And given the situation many states are considering making alcohol available in limited amounts.
In the earlier weeks of the lockdown West Bengal were hoping to start a home delivery service much like Kerala, but neither were able to make progress on that.
However, liquor shops in Assam and Meghalaya have reopened on Monday amid the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
In Assam, an Excise department’s order said that liquor shops, wholesale warehouses, bottling plants, distilleries and breweries will open from Monday for seven hours daily. In neighboring Meghalaya, liquor shops and warehouses will remain open from 9 am to 4 pm, NDTV reported.
Haryana’s Excise Department Commissioner wrote to his subordinates in all the districts to “resume the operations of Distilleries, Bottling plants, Breweries, Wineries with immediate effect.”
“This maybe treated as a step in the direction of full scale operations of wholesale and retail licenses after the lockdown period is over,” the letter stated.