The lockdown has created a scarcity of liquor, since the government has excluded these from the list of essential commodities and curbed their sale from the third week of March. However, the move to close liquor shops has not gone down well with people. There have been reports of several break-ins and thefts at liquor shops. Tipplers are going to desperate lengths to satisfy their craving. In one such case, Azad Maidan Police booked two persons on Tuesday, for allegedly 'brewing' illicit liquor in a pressure cooker in their backyard. The two 'researched' videos on the subject on YouTube and embarked on their experiment. However, police stepped in and busted their attempt.
According to police, the duo first subjected rotten fruits to fermentation in a plastic can for some days. They then put the fermented slurry in a pressure cooker for distillation and collected the distillate in bottles, using plastic pipes attached to the steam vent of the cooker.
On Tuesday, the duo were involved in this activity adjacent to the compound wall of the Dhobi Talao Saravajanik Ganeshotsav Mandal, when they were spotted by a resident who alerted police.
When the police team arrived at the spot, the two, identified as Nitesh Rathod, 40, and Yogesh Rajput, 36, were absorbed in brewing and had made enough liquor for themselves. But it proved to be a case of there's many a slip between the cup and the lip. At that very moment, police arrived and destroyed the 'fruit' of their labour on the spot, only keeping some bottles of the hooch as evidence. They also seized a pressure cooker, plastic pipes, a stove, glasses, beer and plastic cans for storing liquor. "Both the accused are residents of Dhobi Talao. Rathod works as a house help nearby while Rajput does odd jobs," said an officer.
"We have booked the two under the Indian Penal Code sections of disobeying public servent's order (188) and negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life (269) and have also applied sections of the Maharashtra Ban on Liquor Act," said an officer from the Azad Maidan police station. The two were not arrested immediately, being allowed to go after being served notices.