The Assam government on Monday banned molasses across the state, days after more than 150 people died after consuming spurious alcohol in Golaghat and Jorhat districts. Molasses – a byproduct of sugar-refining – is used to make country liquor “sulai”.

Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal directed Chief Secretary Alok Kumar to ban molasses, PTI reported.

“The ban has been necessitated as molasses are widely used to prepare sulai, an intoxicating drink,” a statement from the government said, according to The Indian Express. “He [Sonowal] also asked Chief Secretary to direct all Deputy Commissioners to ensure ban on molasses in all the districts.” They were also asked to generate awareness about the “evils of consuming sulai”.

“The meeting also decided to extend government help for looking after all children who lost their parent or parents in hooch tragedy under Juvenile Justice Act,” the statement added. Nearly 40 children have reportedly lost their parents.

Police have arrested at least 25 people, registered 100 cases and the excise department has seized around 15,000 litres of illicit liquor in connection with the recent hooch deaths.