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After the hooch tragedy the Assam Government has launched a crackdown on ‘Laligur’, a form molasses, across the State as it is the major ingredient in the making of ‘sulai’, the country liquor.

The State Government has completely banned the sale of laligur as it is being used in making spurious liquor which is causing a serious threat to public health.

Anyone who wants to use it as fodder for cattle needs to take prior permission from district magistrate or the veterinary department, said excise minister Parimal Suklabaidya after he held a high level review meeting at the circuit house in Golaghat with the officers of excise department of both Golaghat and Jorhat districts.

The move is in contrast with the government’s previous instruction to all the superintendents of police of the state to ensure free movement of truck carrying molasses because the joint secretary of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department had sent a WT message on June 15 last year (a copy of which is available with Northeast Now) where it was said that ‘it has come to the notice of the government that unscrupulous elements are unauthorizedly stopping, restricting movement of ‘gur’ and jaggery at various places in the State creating resentment among the farmers and traders’.

The message further read, ‘It is clarified that the item molasses or gur has not been specified as essential commodity in the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2006. The ‘gur’ control order has also been rescinded by Government of India.’

‘Presently there is no licensing requirement, stock limit and movement restrictions on gur and molasses. In view of thee above, you are requested to ensure free movement, transportation of Gur, molasses and take strong actions against the unscrupulous persons who are illegally obstructing the movement of above mentioned items, the message further stated.

“There is no license required to store molasses therefore we have no idea regarding the stock of molasses in the district. Moreover, imposing a restriction or banning the ‘Laligur’ is not an option to control the flourishing market of spurious liquor. If ‘Laligur’ is not available then the illicit liquor makers will use methanol which is very much toxic and we have seen the result in the recent hooch tragedy of Halmira tea garden,” an official from the food and civil supplies department said on the condition of anonymity.

Ritupallab Saikia

Ritupallab Saikia is Northeast Now Correspondent in Golaghat. He can be reached at:

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