Birhor liquor community and their rules and regulations
The tribe members here follow rules and regulations set by their ancestors, said Topchachi Block Development Officer Vijay Kumar.
"The members of the Birhor community usually do not approach the district administration or courts for their fracas. They solve it among themselves. Interestingly, no one challenges or defies the verdict of the community court," he said.
The quantum of punishment awarded to a person depends on nature of the crime, he said
"If a person is held guilty for a brawl, he has to pay a fine of two bottles of Hariya. For theft, the number of bottles could up to five and for serious crimes, it could go up to 10 bottles," he added.
Majhi Haram, the present community chief, stores the liquor bottles that are paid as fine for use at community feasts, usually organized thrice in a year, said Sukar Birhor, who along with the tribe head and three other members, settles community disputes.
"There is no need for police in our village. In the past 65 years, I have not seen any police officer entering our village. We are capable of solving our problems, so we do not go to them," he asserted.
Currently, there are around 70 families at Chalkari village in Topchachi police station area of Dhanbad district.
The villagers there have access to school and hospital among other facilities. Shivpujan Baraliya, the officer-in-charge of Topchachi police station, corroborated Sukhar Birhors claims.
According to SK Mandal, a primary school teacher at Chalkhari, even tiffs between women are sorted by the elderly members of the community.
"The central government passed the Wildlife Protection Act only in 1972, but the Birhor community of Chalkari had imposed a ban on wildlife killing ages ago. For killing a jackle or a jungle cat, a fine of two bottles of liquor is imposed on a member, for a leopard, it is usually 10 bottles," he explained. Hariya, a country-made liquor, is prepared at tribal homes with rice, water, and jungle herbs. "It is routine drink and a symbol of prestige for the tribal community," said Ramesh Tudu, Dhanbad district president of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha.
"Almost every family in the tribal belt prepares Hariya at home. They serve it to guests in pots. The Birhor families do not sell the liquor as they prepare it in small quantities," Tudu added.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)