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AROUND 95 kilograms of meat, suspected to be beef, was seized by the railway police officials at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on Wednesday morning. The meat, which was carried in the luggage compartment of the Punjab Mail Express, had arrived from Bhopal, police officials said. The slaughter of cow, bulls and bullocks is prohibited under the Maharashtra (Animal protection) Act. It, however, allows the slaughter of water buffaloes.
The meat was seized around 7.35 am immediately after it reached the station. Officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) at CST said when they were informed about a “suspicious parcel” being carried, they seized the meat right after the train reached CST. “We received a tip-off about receiving beef at CST parcel office from Punjab Mail Express train on Wednesday. We checked the office and seized 95 kg of meat which we surrendered to the Government Railway Police. An inquiry is on in this regard,” said Sachin Bhalode, senior Divisional Security Commissioner (DSC), RPF, CST.
Officials from GRP said they had sent the samples of meat to Kalina forensic science lab for further inspection. “We have sent almost 250 grams of meat sample to the lab to verify if it is beef. The parcel received in a gunny bag was concealed in a wooden box with ice. We have stored the remaining parcels in the parcel house at CST,” a senior GRP official at CST said.
The consignee of the order, Salim Qureshi from Bandra, has been booked by the GRP for the offence. He has been booked under sections 5 (c) that pertains to prohibition of slaughter of cows and 9 (a) that refers to imprisonment for the slaughter of the animal under the Maharashtra (Animal protection) Act. The provisions of the Act invoked by the GRP attract a six-month jail term or a fine. The accused has also been booked under sections 66 (4), 164 and 165 of the Indian Railway Act for carrying “dangerous” and “offensive” goods in railways.
“We have registered a case against Salim, the owner of Zeenat Meat shop at Bharat Nagar in Bandra. He claims the meat was that of water buffalo and not cow. Inquiry is on in this process. If found to be guilty, we will arrest Salim and also the consignor from Bhopal,” the GRP official added. While the consignor has been identified as one Nizam Khan, other details are yet to be verified, officials from GRP said. This is the first time ever that meat being transported in a train has been seized, railway police officials said.