Kolkata Carcass Racket: Kingpin Arrested, People Go “Yuck!”
Amid a raging controversy, the kingpin of an illegal trade racket brewing in Kolkata was arrested on Thursday evening.
The racket involved supply of rotten meat in the city and neighbouring areas after processing the flesh of carcasses collected from dumping grounds.
The kingpin Biswanath Garai (52), a resident of Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas, was arrested from near Garia railway station by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Thursday, the superintendent of police of Diamond Harbour police district, Koteswara Rao told PTI.
So far 11 persons have been arrested, including a leader of a political outfit, in connection with the case.
Separately, Sudesh Poddar, the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Eastern India (HRAEI), has issued an advisory to its members asking them to procure meat and poultry from registered vendors.
Kolkatans go “Yuck!”
Police seized nearly 20 tonnes of animal meat last week from a cold storage in north Kolkata that was meant to be supplied to departmental stores and hotels.
The scare over rotten meat supply from dump yards has led to an increase in the demand for fish among people in the city.
The city dwellers took to social media to express their fear and disgust.
Business Hiccups for Bengal Traders
Meat traders across the city are experiencing a slump in their businesses over the past few days.
The sales of chicken fell drastically by more than 20 percent as consumers' sentiment was hit badly and consumption fell, reported IANS.
"Subsequently, the sales improved and now fresh chicken sales are up by around five percent compared to the usual demand, with reports coming in about carcass meat trade," Bengal Poultry Federation General Secretary Madan Mohan Maity told IANS.
On the other hand, the sale of fish has increased by at least 30-40 percent, Soumyajit Das, managing director of State Fisheries Development Corporation Limited, told PTI.
"If our sale in mid-April was around 650-700 kg per day, now it has gone up to nearly 950 kg," he added.
Political Parties Rally Over Meat Racket
The BJP organised a rally outside TMC-controlled Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and shouted slogans against the state government.
"The KMC is totally indifferent to this racket, which has flourished because the KMC and the state government have turned a blind eye," a BJP activist said.
The Youth Congress too organised a rally in central Kolkata. Congress activists carried placards and posters against the state government and demanded an immediate arrest of those involved in the racket.
KMC mayor-in-council (health) Atin Ghosh said that instead of indulging in politics, the Congress and the BJP should make people aware of the problem.
The West Bengal government has directed all police stations in the city and the districts to keep a watch on the sale of meat in their areas, officials said.
The state consumer affairs department is also preparing a detailed report on the matter.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)
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