Night curfew goes for toss in Ludhiana as liquor vends clear stock

Huge discounts were being offered as liquor traders wanted to clear their stock before the end of the financial year; though night curfew kicks in at 9pm, vends on Pakhowal Road, Gill Road, Railway station road, Dugri, Haibowal, Model Town and Haibowal, remained open even after 11pm as police patrol teams turned a blind eye to the violations.
Bacchus lovers flouting social distancing norms as they try to secure a stock of their preferred brand of liquor. (Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)
Bacchus lovers flouting social distancing norms as they try to secure a stock of their preferred brand of liquor. (Harsimar Pal Singh/HT)
Published on Apr 02, 2021 01:28 AM IST
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ByHarsimran Singh Batra, Ludhiana

Night curfew and social distancing norms went for a toss on Wednesday as Bacchus lovers queued up at liquor vends, which were offering huge discounts to customers, in a bid to clear the stock on the last day of the financial year 2020-21.

Though night curfew kicks in at 9pm, vends on Pakhowal Road, Gill Road, Railway station road, Dugri, Haibowal, Model Town and Haibowal, remained open even after 11pm as police patrol teams turned a blind eye to the violations. At many places, social distancing norms were also seen being openly flouted as patrons rushed to secure themselves a stock of their preferred brand of liquor.

At some places, liquor vend owners had pulled the shutters down but continued sale through a small holed carved in the shutter.

A staffer at one of the vends, requesting anonymity, said, “It would have been a huge revenue loss for us if the vends had been closed at 9pm. People came in large numbers in view of the year-end discounts. The government should also have made exceptions for us in view of the March 31 rush.”

Sahil, a customer standing in a queue at a vend on Pakhowal road, said it is the only time of the year when liquor is available at discounted rates so everyone is trying to make the best out of it.

Traders slam police inaction against liquor vends

Meanwhile, police inaction against the liquor vend owners did not go down well with the traders who accused the administration of discriminating against them. Deepak, a shopkeeper in Model Town Extension, said, “We are forced to pull down the shutters even before 9pm by the police, but no action was taken against the liquor vend owners. They got away easily as they are backed by influential people.”

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