The 21-day lockdown imposed by the Centre has given a lot of time for people to learn new skills, use their creativity, and spend quality time with family. However, it has also created a lot of trouble for many tobacco and alcohol addicts who are not getting their usual supply amid the lockdown and supply chain disruptions.
In fact, several states in the country have already reported suicides related to the unavailability of alcohol, whereas many addicts had a direct confrontation with the law during their ‘search operation’ for shops selling cigarettes and pan masalas amid the lockdown. Some people who thought they were clever enough to befool the authorities also got trapped after police started using drones for surveillance of rooftops and society premises.
Taking a cue from that, some youngsters in Morbi tried to make easy money by delivering pan masalas to customers using a drone. They thought by using a drone they are eliminating the risk of getting caught by police as they are not loitering on the streets. But, little did they know that their adventurism and creativity will land them in trouble.
The moment a video of the delivery of pan masalas and other tobacco products using a drone went viral on social media, the police swung into action and arrested two people under the provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
Notably, the Gujarat government had directed the closure of all pan shops in the state in a bid to contain the spread of the virus even before the 21-day lockdown was imposed. As a result, people had stocked tobacco products. However, as the lockdown which was scheduled to end on Tuesday (April 14) is likely to be extended, tobacco addicts are finding it difficult to source tobacco products, especially pan masalas.