Carcass meat row: SIT nabs linkman from Madhyamgram, KMC combs Alipore Zoo to check quality of meat
Kolkata: In a major development in its investigation of the carcass meat case, the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in South 24-Parganas arrested a linkman from Madhyamgram in North 24-Parganas, on Thursday night.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) conducted a drive at the Alipore Zoological Garden to take stock of the quality of meat that is being provided to the carnivores in the zoo.
Police sources said that the arrested Sikandar Ali used to collect carcass meat from dumpyards in and around the Kolkata airport area and used to supply it to the meat processing unit at Narkeldanga owned by Biswanath Ghorai alias Bishu, who was arrested by the sleuths on Wednesday night from Sonarpur. Bishu has been identified as the kingpin of the racket.
"A person named Sikandar Ali has been apprehended from Madhyamgram near Kolkata airport on Thursday night. The prima facie evidence shows that he worked as a linkman in this case," Superintendent of Police, Diamond Harbour Police district, Koteshwar Rao said, adding that raids are going on in Kolkata and the adjoining districts for nabbing other linkmen in the case.
Last week, the sleuths had busted a racket involved in processing the flesh of carcasses collected from dumping grounds in and around the city's adjoining suburbs and selling it to local restaurants and departmental stores. They had seized a huge quantity of rotten meat from a city cold storage. A team from the food safety unit of KMC, led by Member, Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh, took stock of the quality of meat that is being supplied for feeding the carnivores in the zoo.
"As informed by the zoo director, they require 7 to 8 kilograms of buffalo meat for feeding each carnivore in the zoo. However, a portion of the meat is not consumed by the animals and is carried away by a person living in Salt Lake area. This person has told the zoo authorities that the wasted meat is used as fish feed. We have collected this person's details, to ascertain whether this meat is being used for other purposes," Ghosh said.
The team led by Ghosh also collected samples of meat used for feeding the animals, as well as the stuff used by restaurants and food stalls in and around the zoo.
The KMC team also conducted a drive at Kidderpore area and seized samples of meat. Industrial ice, which was being used at some shops, was destroyed by the team. Raids were also held at two restaurants in Dunlop, which were sealed after a large quantity of rotten chicken and fish items were seized from there.