Kolkata Rotten Meat Case In Court; Bengal Poor On Food Safety, Says Petitioner

Only 120 food samples were tested for adulteration in West Bengal in 2014-15. More than 50% of Bengal's samples were found adulterated.

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Bengal government's food safety teams and the police had seized 20 tonnes of rotten meat of dead animals


Kolkata:  The rotten meat case that has put a large number of Kolkata residents off meat has now reached the court. Subhash Dutta, environment activist and lawyer, filed a Public Interest Litigation( PIL) on Thursday, demanding judicial intervention into the matter. Calcutta High Court will hear the case on Monday.

"West Bengal is a paradise of adulteration and hell as far as checks of food safety is concerned. Prevention is better than cure. This is a preventive petition," said Mr Dutta.

The activist's legal submissions are startling. He has quoted statistics from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for the year 2014-15 and he says, they show Bengal is last in class.

Only 120 food samples were tested for adulteration in West Bengal in 2014-15 while Maharashtra tested 6,985 samples that same year. More than 50% of Bengal's samples were found adulterated. Maharashtra scored way better with adulteration found in only 16.64% food samples.

The penalty in Bengal is also much less than the other states. Rs 30,000 in 2014-15 while Mahrashtra's fines in the same period totaled Rs 165 lakh.

On Thursday, BJP protested outside the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) office, demanding a CBI investigation. "We suspect people from Trinamool are involved in the racket which is why it went on unchecked. We want a CBI probe into it," said BJP leader Raju Banerjee.

The Congress also marched demanding action against the culprits. "This has really hurt people in the stomach. It is a below the belt attack," said Congress leader Ashutosh Chatterjee.

On Thursday police confirmed the arrest of Biswajit Gharai, owner of the cold storage in Kolkata's Narkeldanga, where packets full of rotten meat were recovered. He is believed to be the Kingpin.

Kausar Dhali of Bashirhat, who owned the Dhali Chicken Centre near the airport that was raided last Friday, has not been traced yet. Police suspect he may have skipped across the border into Bangladesh.


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