Goa Human Rights Commission (GHRC) on Tuesday ordered the state’s Chief Secretary to probe allegations of irregularities in the supply of refreshments to over 5000 security personnel deployed for BRICS Summit. In its interim-order, Chairperson of GHRC, A D Salkar also ordered that the payment of Rs. 51.60 lakh to Amonkar Classic caterer’s must be withheld until the probe is complete.
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Taking cognisance of local media reports that the food served for the state police personnel was prepared in unhygienic conditions at a makeshift kitchen in Verna village, and that a few officials reportedly complained of food poisoning, the GHRC said that it felt the case deemed fit to be probed.
“Nearly 80 percent of the police staff refused to consume food. It was stale, animal feathers and insects were spotted and stale smell emanated from them. Most of the food packets were thrown as soon as they were received and the personnel had to make alternative arrangements for themselves,” Advocate and petitioner Aires Rodrigues submitted.
Calling the incident as a scam, Aires Rodrigues said that the government did not even invite tenders for the catering contract. “Barely three-days before BRICS, they seemed to have notified the caterer and awarded him the contract. Didn’t the government till then knew that BRICS was underway and subsistence was needed for its security personnel,” he asked.
The GHRC has granted Goa Chief Secretary R K Srivastava a period of 10-days to submit an interim report to the commission. The next hearing is slated for November.