The ongoing nationwide lockdown to contain COVID-19 led to the closure of bars and wine shops in most of the cities across India. Alcoholics all over the country are having a tough time without their usual drinks and are seemingly willing to buy liquor in black at prices higher than the usual.
In Bengaluru, several wrongdoers have been prompted to make quick cash by indulging in the black marketing of alcohol. A group of miscreants on Friday, April 10, barged into a wine shop in the Bengaluru rural district and managed to get away with multiple bottles of liquor.
A case has been registered against the offenders at the Hosahalli police station as the officials have begun searching for the group.
Spike in similar crime cases
The Bengaluru police have received several complaints from bars and wine shop owners regarding the theft of liquor bottles since the novel coronavirus lockdown. As many as seven FIRs have been registered by the cops under the Karnataka Excise Act till yet. As per the officials, the thieves have been selling alcohol at prices much higher than the original rate.
On April 6, a complaint was lodged with the Thalaghattapura police station by Ajith C Ameen, manager of Vaishnavi Palace Bar and Restaurant in Banashankari. He alleged that a group of unidentified men broke open his bar and fled with liquor bottles. A similar complaint was registered by the owner of SV Bar and Restaurant in Kembathalli on the same night.
Also, a group of four people selling 180 ML liquor in tetra packs for Rs 500 at Dr. Vishnuvardhan Main Road was busted by the Rajarajeshwari Nagar police.
Rise in cases of alcohol withdrawal symptoms
The absence of liquor has taken a toll on the health of many in Bengaluru as people have been experiencing extreme alcohol withdrawal symptoms. As per Dr. Prathima Murthy, Head of the Psychiatry Department, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS), at least 15 to 20 people with alcohol withdrawal delirium are coming in for treatment per day.
"Some of the withdrawal symptoms mimic COVID-19 symptoms such as fever and chest infection. Those with symptoms are being sent to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases and other government testing laboratories for COVID-19. None of the patients who have come to NIMHANS for alcohol withdrawal symptoms have tested positive for the virus so far," she said.