Mumbai: In a major crackdown, the Mumbai police on Friday seized nearly 6,500 kgs (6.5 tonnes) of beef from a processing unit in Dharavi. This seizure is said to be the largest made in the city since the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (MAP) Act was amended last year.
The Unit 3 of the Mumbai police acted on a tip about a certain illegal activity going on in a warehouse in Dharavi.
“On Thursday, I received a tip about meat being illegally stored in a godown in Kuttiwadi of Dharavi. Early on Friday morning, we raided the facility and found meat from cows, ox and also organs of various animals including the intestines and testicles of buffaloes,” said Sunil Mane, senior police inspector, Unit 3 (crime branch).
He added that they raided four warehouses in the same area and found the cattle meat and organs being dried in the open.
“We seized 6.5 tonnes i.e. 6,500 kilos valued at nearly Rs 14 lakh from all the four facilities. Three persons have been arrested for illegal slaughter, possession of the meat,” said Mr Mane.
The MAP Act prohibits the slaughter of cows and the newly brought amendment bans the slaughter of bulls, oxen as well as bullocks. Prior to the amendment, the slaughter of the three types of cattle was allowed on the basis of procurement of a fit-for-slaughter certificate.
Crime branch officials revealed that the raided facility was registered under the name of AQ Brothers and it had been in operation for eight years. Investigators added that the company had no proper licences including the one issued from BMC prior to the ban of ox and bull meat. The three arrested accused have been identified as Shamshad Azad Qureshi, owner of company AQ Brothers; Ashrafali Qureshi (supervisor) and an employee Mohammed Sartaj Qureshi .
Mr Mane further said that the raided unit would receive the cattle meat from states like Utar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and also rural areas of Maharashtra. The workers in the unit would then package the meat in boxes and export them via the sea route to countries like Vietnam, Phillipines and Indonesia. Sources revealed that a part of the seized meat would be sent for forensic tests and the rest would be destroyed at the abattoir in Deonar.
They have been booked under Sections 5 (A) (1) (2) - 5A which pertains to prohibition on transport and export of cow, bull or bullock for slaughter and 5(c), 5 (d) and 9 (a) of the MA Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995. The Police is also investigating to find if other workers and organisations were involved in this trade.