Key supplier in Kolkata carcass meat racket arrested, hunt on for masterminds
A key dealer in a racket that supplied meat from discarded animal carcasses to restaurants in Kolkata was arrested on Thursday even as opposition parties staged demonstrations demanding a thorough investigation.
Biswanath Ghorui was arrested from Sonarpur in the South 24 Parganas on Wednesday night, taking the total number of arrests in the case to 11. The masterminds of the racket are yet to be traced.
Ghorui, along with Sunny Mullick, who was picked up from Bihar about a week ago, allegedly used to supply meat from carcasses discarded in dump yards to hotels and restaurants in Kolkata.
The racket was exposed on April 20 at Budge Budge in South 24 Parganas district, about 28 km from Kolkata. Eleven people, including Manik Mukherjee, a former CPI(M) leader who was expelled in 2010, have been arrested so far.
In separates protests, BJP and Congress leaders on Thursday blocked roads outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) headquarters at S N Banerjee Road in central Kolkata.
The BJP demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the racket, alleging that the special investigation team (SIT) formed by the Bengal Police was not conducting a proper probe.
“The SIT will follow orders from Trinamool leaders. People will never come to know the truth,” alleged Raju Banerjee, Bengal BJP general secretary.
Noted environmental activist Subhas Dutta filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Calcutta high court, seeking directions to the government to ensure public safety and standard of food sold in markets and eateries.
Earlier, Citizens For Social Justice, an NGO, submitted a notice in the Calcutta high court for filing a PIL.
On Thursday, Atin Ghosh, member, mayor-in-council, Kolkata Muncipal Council, visited several eateries and collected food samples. “Since we don’t have adequate infrastructure, these samples will be sent to the state forensic science labs.”
Kolkata and neighbouring districts have witnessed a massive fall in the sale of raw, processed and cooked meat after the police investigation indicated that the carcass meat was supplied to several popular and ordinary restaurants and fast food outlets.
Thousands of messages, containing the names of several eateries and shops, have surfaced on social media, prompting some restaurant owners to initiate a counter movement on social media.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on Monday asked its food suppliers in the state not to store frozen meat.