India has finally ended its ban on alcohol and wine consumption in the national capital, Delhi, as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
The ban, which had been in place since January 1, was initially imposed on the streets of the city to stop illegal street drinking and to curb the spread of the virus.
The move was applauded by some who said it had helped to curb a huge number of deaths and a decline in public health.
“The ban has led to a big reduction in public drunkenness.
It has also been a great deterrent for crime, for people in the public sector and for businesses in the city,” said Suresh Gupta, director of research at the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).”
The new measures are very positive, but we still have some work to do to make it sustainable.
The ban has given us an incentive to work more,” said Gupta, who has written about the ban.
The new law was imposed by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after a public meeting of the National Security Advisor (NSA) on Wednesday, the first such gathering since the ban was implemented.
The NSA’s decision to bring in the new rules, which were brought in on a party-run basis, has drawn flak from opposition parties who say it is a direct challenge to India’s democratic norms.
It comes just weeks after the government in Delhi said it would introduce a law banning alcohol in the capital for the first time since the pandemic began.
The law is the result of a public consultation that was led by former Delhi police commissioner BS Sharma, who was later elevated to the top post in the Delhi government.
Under the new law, it is illegal to sell or buy alcoholic drinks in public places and bars, restaurants and theatres.
It is also illegal to consume any alcoholic drink in any public place or bar, or consume any drink in a public place while carrying out any other act prohibited by the order.
A drink is defined as “a liquid, solid or solid substance or mixture of substances, including but not limited to a glass of wine or other alcoholic drink, or any other liquor or liquor product”.
The government also announced that there will be a ban on the consumption of alcohol in public transport and on all buses, trains and the rail network.
The liquor ban has been widely criticised by some, including the Indian Red Cross, which has said that the ban is a failure to protect people.
“There are two major reasons why the ban has failed.
Firstly, it has not been implemented and secondly, it was implemented with the help of the government of India, which is not a democracy.
People in the government are not informed about the law and the government cannot enforce it,” said Kirti Bansal, the head of the Red Cross’ Delhi division.”
This is a very serious situation and we are extremely disappointed that it has come to this.
We need to see what steps are being taken to bring back the ban,” said Bansal.
Bansal also said that while the Delhi administration has done a good job in implementing the new ban, it should not be confused with the ban on liquor in other states and cities.
In Punjab, the liquor ban was imposed after a series of incidents where alcohol was being consumed by people.
In August, Punjab police arrested a man for allegedly selling liquor in a private house without the required licences.
“We are seeing a lot of complaints, but there are also many cases where people have been arrested, but are still drinking and still not getting the permits,” said Jagmohan Kumar, the director of the Punjab Public Health Institute.
In the latest flare-up, police in Punjab arrested three people on Sunday for allegedly being involved in selling alcohol.
In Jammu and Kashmir, the state’s capital, more than 100 people were killed in violence and looting after an illegal liquor ban came into force.
The state’s chief minister and a number of police officers were killed when gunmen opened fire at a rally organised by the Hindu nationalist outfit Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
In Punjab alone, more people have died after a nationwide ban on booze came into effect on October 6, while in Jammu, police have reported two more fatalities after the same day.
The latest bout of violence has brought to a halt what had been an annual tradition in the state.