Hyderabad: Telangana government has announced the closure of liquor shops as a part of the lockdown to ensure social distancing and break the chain of coronavirus.
However, a circular stating that wine shops will open from 29 March for two hours, went viral on social media.
"All the statewide wine shops will remain open from 29 March 2020. Time 14:00 hrs to 17:30 hrs. Excise department constables shall be deployed to maintain social distancing. Those violating timings will be punished under section 386/1982 of IPC," the circular read. Is this true?
NewsMeter checked with the excise department officials about the veracity of the statement. "The letter is fake. As per the government orders, all the wine shops will be shut till April 14. The letter circulating hasn't been issued by Telangana excise department," said Excise official PN Anji Reddy.
The letter in itself has a lot of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors which is usually not found in government press releases. Even the section mentioned in the copy is also wrong. Section 386 of IPC says: "Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt."
Therefore, the claim that wine shops in Telangana will be open from tomorrow is FALSE.
There are over 2,400 liquor retail outlets and 700 bars in Telangana, which have been closed after Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao announced the lockdown.
Even cases of people committing suicide due to withdrawals and wine shops being burgled have come to light after the lockdown.