Carcass meat row: SIT formed to detect racket's root
Kolkata: A Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed to reach the root of the racket that had been operating to sell meat of carcasses.
The police have already arrested 10 persons in connection with the Budge Budge incident, in which two youths were initially caught chopping off meat from carcasses in a dumping ground. Subsequently, similar incidents also came to light in some other parts of the state.
Sources said that the 10-member SIT is headed by a senior police officer of additional superintendent of police rank. The members of the SIT are taking all necessary steps to expedite the probe and to get hold of other people involved in the racket.
The police have conducted raids at different places including Narkeldanga, Tangra and Kasba in this connection, late on Saturday night. Sources said that the police had conducted the raids after receiving information about some people, who used to work as "linkmen" for the kingpins of the racket.
The police have also come to know about the harmful chemicals that they used to use in the meat of carcasses, to give it a fresh look and sell it as packaged meat.
They are also trying to know about the departmental stores where such meat was supplied and whether the departmental stores' authorities were aware at all that meat of carcasses were being supplied, after processing it using harmful chemicals. The Enforcement Branch is also looking into different aspects of the case.
Sadhan Pandey, the state Consumer Affairs minister, attended a programme of Trinamool Congress in North Kolkata and created awareness among people in this connection. At the same time, he stated that officers of the legal metrology can take up the task of inspecting the quality of food if they are given the necessary power.
It may be mentioned that soon after the Budge Budge incident, the matter related to sale of dead chicken came to light, when police conducted raid in a chicken farm at Rajarhat. Police came to know that the chicken farm was owned by one Kausar Ali Dhali, who is originally a resident of Basirhat in North 24-Parganas.
The police have intensified the search for him. A senior police officer said that necessary steps are being taken to arrest Dhali and raids have also been conducted at different places. Local people in the area of his original residence said that they were unaware of Dhali's activities.
People have also become apprehensive to buy packaged meat and it has resulted in a drop in sales. People were also found avoiding eating chicken and meat from roadside eateries.