A special investigation team of the Kolkata Police on Thursday arrested the alleged kingpin of a group involved in supplying meat from animal carcasses to small eateries and restaurants in the city, PTI reported. The team arrested Biswanath Garai, 52, from a railway station in Garia area of South 24 Parganas district.

Biswanath alias Bishu is the owner of a godown in Rajabazar-Narkeldanga area in Kolkata where the meat of dead animals was found stored, Diamond Harbour Superintendent of Police Koteswara Rao told PTI. The police have now arrested 11 people in connection with the case.

“Bishu was involved in collecting the meat and then processing it. He was then getting it supplied to different restaurants and markets,” Rao said. He said the police were interrogating the accused to find out if any influential person had been helping him.

“We are also looking into how many years he was running this business, and who all were helping him in getting orders,” an unidentified officer of the special investigation team added.

The police suspect the meat was sourced from dumping grounds and was meant to be sold to eateries and departmental stores in the state, as well as in neighbouring Jharkhand, Odisha and Bihar. They also believe that five influential individuals were involved in the racket.

Following reports about the racket early this week, there was a sharp drop in the consumption of meat across Kolkata. This forced the Hotel and Restaurants’ Association of Eastern India to issue an urgent advisory to its members on Monday, asking them to buy meat only from registered suppliers.