Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday pulled up the principal secretary of the animal resources development department for failing to check the alleged supply of dead chickens preserved with formalin to stores in Baduria, North 24 Parganas. Formalin is detrimental to humans when ingested beyond a certain level. Speaking to principal secretary B P Gopalika during an administrative meeting at Bolpur, Mamata said, “Some people are preserving dead chickens by pushing injection and these chickens are being sold… Who will take responsibility if 500 people fall sick after consuming that meat?”
In response, the IAS officer said he had only come to know of the development recently.
“After receiving information, action has been taken to check it (the supply). The supply of such chickens has been taking place for past seven days, but I got to know only about two to three days back,” he said.
This further angered Mamata, who said, “Why did government officers working in that district not give you information? Ask them to give clarification on why they failed to discharge their duties. If anything big happens, it is the government which has to face the consequences… You have failed to discharge your duty.”
“What was the Block Development Officer doing… Don’t argue with me. You must tell your officers at your department to keep you informed all the time,” she added.
After reports over the injection of formalin spread in the region, the state government initiated a drive to check the supply of such chickens, while the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has started a drive to identify the same in city markets.
On armed rallies
Meanwhile, Mamata once again appealed to people to observe Ram Navami peacefully and asked police not to give all organisations permission to take out processions with arms.
“There are two or three organisations which take out processions with arms during Ram Navami. These organisations have been traditionally doing this every year for the last 50 to 100 years. They must take special permission from police to take out rallies. But I will ask police not to grant permission to those who have all of a sudden decided to take out processions with arms. They are free to take out normal processions, but not with arms. We will not allow hooliganism. As board examinations are going on, such processions will be allowed only after 4 pm,” she said. In response, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “We will take part in Ram Navami celebrations, which are traditionally being held in the state. This time too, armed processions will be taken out from Kharagpur. I will also attend it. There is no question of breaking tradition. The government’s responsibility is to maintain law and order. If the administration prevents us from observing our festivals, then there will be ‘lankakanda’ (violence) in the state.”