There have been over 200 deaths in Bihar since 2016 but the data shows a much less number.
The first hooch case in the year 2016 was reported between 16 to 18 august in which 19 people died in Gopalganj district of Bihar. But data from NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) shows only 6 deaths.
From 2016 till this date there have been over 200 deaths but the reports of NCRB only recorded 23.
What is hooch?
Hooch term is commonly used for poor-quality alcohol. The term is derived from the native Alaskan Tribe- Hoochinoo who was known for producing very strong liquor. Hooch is made without any quality checks and no regard for sophisticated equipment, rudimentary, unlike branded liquor. The main motive of hooch is to intoxicate and if made incorrectly it can kill.
How liquor is made and supplied in small towns?
The liquor made in the small towns is made illegally with no government licence and validation. The poisonous liquor made is called raw wine.
The liquor made is sold secretly and at a much cheaper rate than any store-sold liquor. And cheap liquor is bought and consumed by people of low-income groups.
Making of hooch
The hooch liquor is made from locally available yeast, sugar or jaggery or fruit. Firstly water is heated in a large pot to ferment the mixture. After the fermentation is considered enough, the mixture is distilled to make concentrated alcohol. The fermented mixture also contains methanol, which is normally used for industrial purposes and is highly toxic.
And if distillation is done wrong the final product may contain more methanol than regular alcohol which is poisonous. Sometimes various adulterants are added to increase the effectiveness of the liquor- battery acid, urea, and organic waste.
In 2016 the Nitish Kumar government banned the sale and consumption of alcohol, implementing the liquor prohibition law in Bihar. Despite the ban on liquor home delivery is available for liquors; big trucks filled with liquor are crossing the threshold of the state.
And these incidents indicate that the Government has not been able to put a stop to sales and consumption. The law of prohibition has made alcohol expensive and bootleggers do their business without any bills and making children do their dirty work. There are
Recent news on the hooch tragedy
- “No compensation will be provided to the people who die after consuming spurious liquor. We have been appealing to you not to drink. If you drink, you will die. Those who speak against prohibition will not bring any good to the people,” said Bihar CM Nitish Kumar.
- It is being said that in the past six years over 200 people have died due to contaminated liquor in Bihar.
- Union minister RK Singh said that the Bihar government is hiding the death toll of the tragedy saying locals have said nearly 200 people died and they were forced by the administration to say that deaths are due to cold.
He also added what will happen to the people who are distributing the liquor as Nitish Kumar said who will drink, will die.
- Most of the people dying in the hooch tragedy are from poor families and could not afford medical treatment. Many people died because the treatment facility was unavailable at the health care centres. People who have been arrested are poor.
- Former IPS Officer Kiran Bedi said that prevention, detection and rehabilitation plan are also needed, prohibition is not enough.
- 25 arrests have been made in Saran.
- After allegedly consuming the spurious liquor nearly 82 people died and the rate will increase.
- Saran Police launched a ‘Clean drive’ against the sale and consumption of alcohol. In this drive, every household will be picked where alcohol is sold or consumed and add a general awareness campaign to the people.