The Kolkata Police, which on Thursday seized 20 tonnes of rotten meat suspected to be of dead animals, have said that chemicals were used to arrest rotting and get rid of the stench before the meat was packed and supplied to markets in West Bengal and neighbouring states.
So far, 10 people, including a leader of a political outfit, have been arrested in connection with the case.
“The meat used to be supplied mainly to the sellers of frozen food items, eateries, departmental stores in the state and its neighbouring areas in Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar. There are others from these neighbouring states who are involved in the racket,” a senior police officer said.
The Kolkata Police, along with its counterparts in districts like Nadia, South and North 24 Parganas, have chalked out a roadmap to investigate the matter, the officer said.
Asked if the meat was supplied to international markets like Nepal and Bangladesh, he said, “During initial questioning, those who have been arrested have admitted to supplying it to markets in Nepal. But we are not sure about it. Our officers are interacting with authorities in Nepal,” he said.
Speaking about the modus operandi, the official said the accused used to collect the meat of dead animals from different places in the state.
“First they would wash the meat with formalin. Then they separated fat from the meat to arrest rotting and inject calcium propanoate (as a food additive). After that, it was mixed with aluminium sulphate and lead sulphate to get rid of the foul smell and then packed and supplied to different markets and restaurants,” the officer explained.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, the police conducted raids at a shop selling chicken in Dakshindari area in connection with their probe into the case.
The West Bengal government has also directed all police stations in the metropolis and districts to keep a watch on the sale of meat in their areas, officials said.
ALSO READ | Jharkhand man thrashed on suspicion of serving banned meat at son’s wedding party
ALSO WATCH | Man in Jharkhand lynched over beef rumours hours after Modi’s warning. Is gau raksha above all?