Owner Of Warehouse Where Rotten Meat Was Kept In Kolkata Arrested
Last week, the West Bengal government’s food safety teams and the police had seized 20 tonnes of rotten meat of dead animals, allegedly sourced from dumping grounds
Biswanath Garai, 52, a resident of Sonarpur in South 24 Parganas district, 8 kilometres from Kolkata, was arrested at Garia railway station late on Thursday night, senior police officer Koteswara Rao said. Eleven people, including an accused having alleged links with a political party, have been arrested so far in the Kolkata meat racket.
Biswanath is the prime accused and the owner of the godown in Kolkata’s Narkeldanga, where the rotten meat was being stored, Mr Rao said.
“Bishu was involved in collecting the meat and then processing it. He was getting them supplied to different restaurants and markets,” Mr Rao said.
The police are also trying to find out whether any influential person has been helping the main accused in running the racket.
“We are also looking for how many years he has been running this business and who all are helping him in getting orders,” an officer involved in the probe said.
Last week, the West Bengal government’s food safety teams and the police had seized 20 tonnes of rotten meat of dead animals, allegedly sourced from dumping grounds, meant to be supplied to eateries and departmental stores in the state and neighbouring Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar.
The state consumer affairs department is preparing a report on the matter. The West Bengal government has directed all police stations in Kolkata and the districts to keep strict watch on sale of meat in their areas, officials said.
Top restaurants in Kolkata have asserted that there has been no decline in footfall after the racket came in the news. People have, however, switched to fish, prawn and even vegetarian food amid the chaos over sale of carcass meat, Sudesh Poddar, president of Hotel and Restaurants’ Association of Eastern India said.
“Roughly, there has been a 60 per cent fall in order of meat items across our member restaurants this week. But we cannot say that the profit margin has gone down as people have replaced chicken and mutton items on their plates with fish and prawn delicacies,” he said.