Representational image Credit: EastMojo Image

Guwahati: In a bid to tackle the menace of illicit liquor, the Assam government has ordered a ban on molasses in state. The decision came following a hooch tragedy that claimed over 160 lives in the two upper Assam districts of Jorhat and Golaghat recently.

As per a government press statement, the decision was taken by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal while chairing a high-level meeting on Monday, in which he asked state chief secretary Alok Kumar to implement the ban in the state.

“The ban has been necessitated as molasses are widely used to prepare sulai, an intoxicating drink. He also asked chief secretary to direct all deputy commissioners to ensure ban on molasses in all the districts,” the statement said.

Sonowal has also asked the chief secretary to direct the deputy commissioners to “generate awareness in all tea gardens and their periphery areas by conducting awareness meetings so that people can be made aware of the evils of consuming sulai”.

The press statement also said, “The meeting also decided to extend government help for looking after all children who lost their parent or parents in the hooch tragedy under the Juvenile Justice Act.”

Following the recent hooch tragedy, a community crackdown on country-made spurious liquor stocks, including vendors, have already started in both the affected districts of Golaghat and Jorhat.

People in large numbers, especially women and youth, have come out openly and started destroying all the illicit liquor stocks available in each and every household of different tea estates and liquor lines.

CM Sonowal also expressed serious concern over the death of people due to alcohol poisoning in Golaghat district and ordered an inquiry into the tragedy. Sonowal also instituted a one-man inquiry committee and asked upper Asam divisional commissioner Julie Sonowal to look into the corollaries of events leading to the death.

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