BENGALURU: NO partying, no pub-hopping. Weekend plans went for a toss for many, thanks to section 144, prohibiting gathering of three and more persons in public spaces, and the liquor ban promulgated by the police.
The weekend turned into a stay-at-home for most. While liquor ban and section 144 were simultaneously in force on Saturday as a precautionary measure for the Ayodhya verdict, it was Eid Milad that led the police to prohibit sale of liquor in the entire jurisdiction of Benglauru City Police Commissionerate.
Both these days, those who wanted to get high, were left dry. “My family and I decided to have a drink and watch a movie at home. But liquor shops were closed. Since Saturday is my regular week off, my day was very boring,” said Sanjana, who works in an advertising company.
Maltesh MV, a software engineer who lives in Banasawadi, said, “I wanted to take my wife for an outing as I promised her two weeks ago. But when I heard that the ban order was imposed across the city, I thought it would not be safe to go out and stayed at home.” Meenakshi Srinivas, another software engineer, said, “Saturday and Sunday are the best to party. But can we party without liquor? We had stayed at home and did not know what to do. We ordered food and just relaxed. I must say it was the most boring weekend ever, I could have worked instead.”
The most hit were the owners of bar and restaurants. “Policemen asked us to shut the bar around 7.30 pm on Friday itself. Again, the bar was closed over the weekend, which rakes up double the revenue of the entire week. This year has been bad for those running bars and restaurants as we were shut nearly 15 days due to elections and other processions. Again we will have to close the bar for by-elections,” said the owner of a bar in Lingarajapuram.
For those who wanted to go out on Sunday evening, the Eid Milad processions forced them to change plans. “The connection between south and west Bengaluru was almost cut due to the procession. I had booked a movie ticket in Malleswaram at 6.10 pm and left home at least an hour before.
When I came near Chamarajpet police station, the police diverted the traffic towards Mysuru Road and other side of the road was closed making way for the procession. Whichever way I took, there was a gridlock. I had to drop plans of going to the movie and return,” said Nuthan, who works in a private firm. Umesh Kumar, Additional Commissioner of Police (Law & Order), West Division, said the police would reassess the security situation on Monday to take a decision on the security forces deployed in the city in the background of the Ayodhya verdict.