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Purchase and sale of stale chicken in Kalamassery a deliberate act driven by profit motive, say police

January 24, 2023 07:55 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:15 am IST - KOCHI

The purchase and sale of stale and stinking chicken by an illegal supply unit at Kaipadamugal in Kalamassery municipality was a deliberate act driven by profit motive on the part of all parties concerned, the police have said.

After nabbing Junais, 37, of Palakkad, from Malappuram on Monday, the Kalamassery police arrested his aide and second accused in the case on Tuesday. The arrested is Nizab, 33, of Palakkad.

Junais, who ran the unit, was brought to the Kalamassery police station on Monday midnight, shortly after which his arrest was recorded. His arrest came nearly a fortnight after 500 kg of stale and stinking chicken and used oil were seized by the Health wing of the Kalamassery municipality on January 12.

“The accused knew that the chicken was stale, but yet bought it since it came cheap. The eateries and shops, which in turn bought the meat from them, also did so owing to the same price factor,” said sources in the Kalamassery police.

The police said the unit had sold chicken to 50-odd eateries and shops in the city, the list of which was seized by the police from the sealed unit. “The list pertained to trade in the past two years. The latest bill receipts will have to be examined to verify the latest transactions,” said sources.

It has now emerged that Junais has criminal antecedents. Deputy Commissioner (Kochi City) S. Sasidharan told the media that he had five cases registered against him, including two for attempt to murder, at the Mannarkad police station in Palakkad.

Chicken was bought from Pollachi, and it is likely that it included the meat of dead poultry too. The accused used to sell it at a cut-price much lower than that of their competitors, the officer said.

The accused have been booked under Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection), 273 (sale of noxious food or drink), 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence), and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

A portion of the house was being used for running the illegal unit, which did not have the requisite licence issued by the municipality. Chicken was found stored in a three-layered freezer. Preliminary findings by the Department of Food Safety have revealed the presence of E.coli bacteria in the seized chicken.

The Opposition Left Democratic Front had accused the ruling dispensation in the municipality of releasing the name of only a section of shops and eateries that had allegedly bought chicken from the illegal unit. A council meeting held last Saturday also witnessed heated exchanges between the two sides.

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