As chaos prevailed and social distancing norms went for a toss, the police were forced to shut shops after some time. The police also resorted to mild lathi charge to disperse the crowd in Shelar Grampanchayat, Bhiwandi rural, Thane.
According to the locals, since early morning many tipplers came there and waited in queue until the wine shop opened. There was a long queue of nearly half a kilometre just to buy wine.
The Bhiwandi police said, “We got to know about the crowding at wine shops from residents from Vasai, Virar, Nalasopara, Kalyan, Ulhasnagar and other outside cities."
According to police officials, "The wine shop owners have been asked to distribute 30 tokens per hour. So only 30 customers will stand in queue while maintaining social distancing and others can wait far away from them to avoid crowding. Despite the token system, the tippers, violated the lockdown norms.
Police officers also said that it would have been better if the shops were not allowed to operate but with the government giving a nod for the shops to remain open, the police said they will ensure that social distancing is maintained.
Raju Gupta, a local resident of Nadi naka said, "Many people are coming from other cities and we are afraid that if any infected person comes in contact with some local resident then the situation will soon worsen in the area".
Shashikant Gaikwad, Tahsildar, Bhiwandi said, "Many liquor shops in the city remained closed. Only rural areas have been permitted to open liquor shops. We got the letter from many granmpanchayat except Shelar grampanchayat about the crowd at the wine shop. Following which, we will go to the collector and inform him about the situation".