A clash erupted on Friday between the Congress workers and the police in Kolkata when the former staged a protest against the rotten meat supply racket. The party blamed the ruling Trinamool Congress for the racket. “Rotten meat market is thriving here, this kind of crime cannot take place without collusion with the ruling regime,” Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury told ANI.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Kolkata police has arrested the main accused Biswanath Garai from the southern part of the city on Thursday evening. “The kingpin, Biswanath Garai (52), a resident of Sonarpur of South 24 Parganas, was arrested on Wednesday evening from Garia Railway Station area by the SIT probing the case,” a police official told news agency IANS.
According to the police, the accused, Biswanath Garai, was involved in collecting and processing the meat to different places. The meat of the dead animals were collected from dumping ground around the city and then it was stored in cold storage. Later, the meat was supplied to restaurants and eateries across the city. The SIT probing the case had arrested 11 persons so far.
Yesterday, the West Bengal unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress took out separate rallies and protest march over the incident. Slamming the ruling Trinamool Congress, the BJP said that state machinery is involved in the racket and demanded strict action against the accused involved in it while the Congress demanded immediate action against the accused.
The state police have so far seized more than 20 tonnes of rotten meat which were suspected to be of dead animals. This meat was meant for supply to restaurants and hotels across the city as well as in neighbouring Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. Police officials have even claimed that the meat may have been supplied to international markets such as Nepal and Bangladesh as well. Several teams have been deployed in greater Kolkata and outside West Bengal to trace the culprits involved in the business of selling meat of dead animals.
The police suspect that as many as five influential individuals acted as middlemen in the racket. The police have also arrested the alleged mastermind of the racket, Sonny Malik, who was held in Bihar’s Nawada district on April 25. The major breakthrough came following the arrest of a former councillor from Kalyani. 62-year-old Manik Mukherjee had retired from the Multidisciplinary Training Centre in Gayeshpur two years ago.
Apart from Kolkata and state police, the state enforcement branch has also started a probe into the matter simultaneously.
Following the expose, the sale of chicken, mutton, and pork in the city has seen a significant dip. According to prominent restaurant owners, the customers are preferring fish, prawn over meat, according to a Times of India report. Hotel and Restaurants’ Association of Eastern India (HRAEI) has asked eateries’ owners to only purchase meat from registered suppliers.