MADURAI: What was planned to encourage numismatics ended up in chaos as scores of biriyani lovers thronged a restaurant at Sellur, violating Covid protocols on Wednesday. As an inaugural offer, Akshaya Prabhu (25), the owner of Suganya’s Biryani, had announced to give biriyani packs to everyone in exchange for 5 paise coin.
Prabhu, a numismatic and a antique collector, herself and an antique collector, said that she zeroed in on the '5 paise biriyani offer’ for the launch of the restaurant’s second branch at Sellur to cheer up coin collectors, especially at the time when artifacts are being unearthed from Keezhadi and the like.
She told TNIE that she thought not too many would possess the old 5 paisa coin and that not many would be willing to part with their collection even if they had. “We expected only about 50 persons to turn up with the coins. But, much to our surprise, due to overwhelming response, 120 parcels of biryani were sold in just 10 minutes. And the crowd grew bigger during the peak lunch hours. We had to turn many away, despite they coming with the old coins,” she added.
Sources said that flouting Covid protocols and physical distancing norms, scores of the people thronged the shop. “As the crowd began to swell, police had to be deployed to disperse the crowd and the shop was shut soon after,” they said.
A police official from Sellur station said that the hotel management had informed them about the inauguration one day prior and a policeman was deployed on the spot. “The rest of the team was diverted to mosque premises on account of Bakrid. The shop owners had drawn circles for social distancing but the unexpected crowd went out of control,” he added.