Angered by the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, women from Boddikurapadu village in Tallur mandal in Prakasam district took matters into their own hands on Tuesday and gheraoed a wine shop, demanding that it be shut down.
TNM spoke to Nagaraju Yemineni, Tallur SI, who said, “There were 11 COVID-19 cases reported from Turpu Gangavaram village, which is a neighbouring village. Several shops in the area were closed, including wine shops, as it is a red zone. Hoping to get their hands on alcohol, a lot of people from neighbouring villages began gathering at the wine shop in Boddikurapadu village.”
“Fearing a spread of the virus, the women of the village gheraoed the wine shop and demanded that it be shut down. There was no loss or damage to property.”
Speaking about controlling the customers at the wine shop, the SI said, “When we ask them not to crowd at the shop, they would disperse, only to return when we left from the spot.”
The women who gathered at the wine shop first requested the owner to shut the shop, and when their pleas went unheard, they brought out empty carton boxes from the shop and set them on fire, 100 m away from the wine shop. The police informed the excise department about the protests and the wine shop owner was asked to shut down the shop immediately.
In the video of the incident, a large group of infuriated women were seen gathering empty beer cartons and also branches from nearby and setting it on fire. Some men can be seen standing by, watching. Some were seen recording the incident on their phones. “The women were worried about the increasing numbers and to stop the spread further, they decided to take the initiative to demand the wineshop to be shut down,” added the SI.
Following the protests, the excise department has asked the wine shop to remain closed until further instructions. As per the medical bulletin released on Tuesday, Prakasam district had reported 24 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours. The district had reported 767 cases in total and 3 lives were lost due to the pandemic.