The 6.5 tonnes of beef seized from Dharavi on Friday was brought from Thane district and was to be smuggled to Vietnam from Dharavi, the city police have found.
Slaughtering of cows, bulls and bullocks and consuming or possessing the meat is illegal in Maharashtra, according to the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act. While the original Act of 1976 banned the slaughter of cows, the amendment prohibits the slaughter of bulls and bullocks as well.
Acting on a tip-off, the police had raided a godown at Dharavi. The three arrested accused -Ashrafali Bakareiddin Miya, 60, who owns the warehouse in Dharavi, Shamshad Aazad Kureshi, 28, and Mohmad Sirtaj Kallu Kureshi, 27 -- were produced in court on Saturday and have been remanded in police custody till April 13.
During interrogation, the accused told the police they used to buy beef from the interiors of Thane district and several other places in Maharashtra. “A police team will question the people whose names have come forward during questioning. If we find their role [in smuggling], action will be taken against them,” said a police officer, on condition of anonymity, adding they were questioning the accused to find out how the meat was smuggled into the city.
Sources said the owner had been exporting beef for the past 10 years. An FIR against has been filed against the trio under section 5 and section 9 of the Act, along with relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.