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Carcass meat case: Committee calls for clearance of police, Health dept officials to conduct raids

KOLKATA: The high-powered committee set up to evolve a foolproof mechanism to bring an end to the menace of selling of carcass meat has recommended allowing police, Health department officials and authorities of civic bodies to carry out raids.
At present, only food safety officers carry out the raids and collect samples for necessary tests. But with the problem of carcass meat coming to the surface, the need of engaging police, Health department officials and civic body authorities for the same is being felt.
It may be recalled that the state government had set up a high-powered committee headed by Chief Secretary Malay De, to immediately evolve a foolproof mechanism to bring an end to the menace of carcass meat sale.
The other eight members of the committee are Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya, Director General of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha, Commissioner of Kolkata Police Rajeev Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary of Panchayat and Rural Development department and Principal Secretaries of Health department, Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department, Food and Supplies department and Animal Resources Development (ARD) department.
Members of the committee held meetings and tried to come up with a solution so that the menace of carcass meat can be completely uprooted.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had announced the setting up of the high-powered committee after the central level administrative review meeting held in Nabanna Sabhaghar on May 8.
The Chief Minister had said: "A nine member high powered committee has been formed to ensure that incidents like what has happened over carcass meat do not recur in future."
The committee also recommended that eateries, meat and chicken sellers have to give a declaration that they will not get involved in any such activity that will hamper food safety. Trade licences will be cancelled if any trader is found flouting the norms.
Moreover, a toll-free number will also be introduced in which common people will be able to pass information to concerned authorities to inform if they find anyone compromising with the quality of food.
A WhatsApp number will also be provided to send photographs or videos directly from the spot.
Meanwhile, civic bodies in different parts of the state have carried out raids and collected samples of meat from different eateries. The same have been sent for tests to laboratories.
Besides taking the preventive steps, the police have also arrested several people, including the kingpin of the rackets which were behind the carcass meat business.

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