for fried chicken?
If you really want to eat that juicy piece of chicken breast,
steaming right in front of you, think again. Wholesalers from
the Tejgaon Poultry Wholesale Market, the largest in the city,
revealed that some collect dead fowl and sell it to groups
of buyers. It seems that a thriving market in dead fowl is
supplying the city's restaurants, including the major eating-places.
estimate that nearly a thousand chickens die everyday as hundreds
of cages of fowl arrive in the city everyday to meet the growing
demand of the capital. "For the last six to seven years
people have been collecting and selling those," said
Nabi Hossain, who has been engaged with the poultry business
for the last 40 years.
concern about the quality of restaurant food has grown since
last week's arrest of a man, Azad, with 53 dead chickens in
Mirpur, who later admitted under police interrogation that
he and many others regularly supplied dead chickens to various
restaurants in Mirpur and Pallabi. Posing as a catfish farm
owner, a Daily Star correspondent visited different poultry
markets in the city last week and asked for dead chickens,
explaining that rotten chicken is a popular feed for the catfish.
It came to be known that the demand for dead hens is very
high and that some people continue to collect discarded fowl.
you come early in the morning, you will get dead fowl. Everyday
at least 200 dead birds have been supplied from the Tejgaon
market," said one trader from Tejgaon.
what buyers do with the dead birds, another wholesaler replied,
"We do not know what they do with those birds. We just
throw it away and some people collect them at night and sell
them in the morning at Tk 30 a piece."
from the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) said that, in an effort
to stop this practice, poultry sellers would have to take
the responsibility of dumping the fowl themselves. "Following
the published news, the authorities directed me to take the
necessary steps and soon I will issue letters to the food
inspectors," said Foyez Ahmed Khan, Food and Sanitary
Inspector of the DCC. He also said that food inspectors do
not have any technology to ascertain whether restaurant owners
have cooked the meat of dead birds. "We just smell the
food and check out the environment in the kitchen."
after Azad's arrest, police nabbed a woman with 21 dead chickens
she collected to feed her customers at a mess. Acting on a
tip-off, a team of Sutrapur police raided the mess on Monir
Hossain Lane and arrested its owner, 28-year-old Jahanara
The cops are increasingly getting publicity these days, though
negative. One of the latest misdemeanours is a police sergeant
getting caught while trying to kidnap a man at gunpoint on
the Supreme Court premises! The traffic sergeant and his brother
apparently apprehended the man near the Bangladesh Bar Council
at around 2:00 pm. Although the cop denied committing any
such crime, eyewitnesses have said that they saw him brandishing
his pistol, shouting at the man and then dragging him towards
true to their tradition, RAB men have killed another civilian,
but this time it was a little difficult. The victim was not
some obscure miscreant who was bumped off during 'cross-fire'
but the General Secretary of Bangladesh Workers Party who
was allegedly tortured to death by RAB. According to the victim
Shymal Sarkar's family, the law-enforcing ninjas arrested
Sarkar from his village home in Ibrahimpur on December 9 last
year and allegedly tortured him severely while in their custody.
On March 31, Sarkar was being taken to Jessore Central Jail
when his condition deteriorated. He was taken to Jessore general
Hospital instead of the jail hospital where he died. The RAB
men of course have their own standard explanation: Sarkar
had been nabbed from the house of a member of an outlawed
group and they had recovered firearms and ammunition from
that place. Furthermore, RAB's commanding officer has termed
the allegation of death from torture as 'absurd'.
False Start Indeed
Though its network is expectedly bad, some Bangladeshis it
seems are ready to give their eyes and teeth for a Teletalk
connection. Twelve aspiring clients were injured as the police
lathi-charged an angry crowd that went on rampage after they
were refused entry to several sales outlets of the company.
In fact the state-run Teletalk had to resort to riot police
and armed police battalion to, what a newspaper report called,
"tame the marauding crowd". Desperation ran high
among the buyers as a place in the queue was reported to be
sold at Tk 500 at the Teletalk's Maghbazar outlet.
after much hype and a fair bit of hoopla the company has launched
its cellular phone service, it is found that all the 10 sales
centres across the city have been given an inadequate number
of subscription forms.
an unnamed subscriber, a Daily Star (DS) report said,
"Form distribution centres preliminarily received 200
forms against thousands of intending buyers in the queue.
Later, the Teletalk management sent additional forms, which
also failed to meet the huge demand." Another newspaper
report blamed some BTTB officials for playing it foul. Some
BTTB officials have allegedly collected subscription forms
beforehand from Teletalk employees to create an artificial
crisis in the market. BTTB officials have opposed the creation
of Teletalk: A debut that marks the end of the BTTB's monopoly
over state-run telephony.
Teletalk boasts 570 base receiver stations, customers who
braved the police batons and got a connection complained bad
service quality. "The call completion rate is very poor.
It takes several efforts to get through," Istiaq Ali,
a disgruntled subscriber, told the DS. Another subscriber
said, "The network is so poor that it does not even work
while moving from one room to another."
Teletalk's much publicised commercial launch witnessed yet
another twist last Saturday when the Ministry of Post and
Telecommunications suspended distribution of its subscription
forms. The ministry, however, has assured the frustrated would-be
Teletalkers that it "will resume soon after a proper
distribution system is developed".
ministry, in fact, has made a fool of itself by flip-flopping
so frequently about the fate of its sole cellular phone operations.
Teletalk, which is the fifth cellular phone operator entering
the market, has to prove that morning does not necessarily
show the day.
Should Preach (Sometimes)
Using Daddy's political clout has become a habit with bratty
sons of parliamentarians these days. A few weeks ago, the
Chief Whip's son whipped up terror in a mobile showroom in
Old Dhaka, firing shots from a gun, breaking things and basically
acting like a thug before being arrested Now the son of a
BNP lawmaker has shown his bratty side by beating up a traffic
policeman when the cop stopped his car for defying a red signal.
The car was headed for Asad Gate when it was stopped. A young
man got out and started shouting at the constable introducing
himself as M.P. Ali Kader's son. After an on-duty traffic
sergeant came to the spot and settled the issue, the M.P.'s
son Noman Kader drove away and came back 15 minutes later
with six of his cronies in two private cars. He then snatched
the traffic constable's stick and mercilessly hit him with
it until the cop collapsed on the road. Later Constable Majid
was rushed to the Suhrawardy Hospital where he was given three
stitches for wounds on the left side of his forehead.
a police team raided various places to arrest Noman but could
not find him.
Kamal Kader Noman turned up at the high court to seek bail.
The court granted him a two-week anticipatory bail. The Chief
Metropolitan Magistrate's court allowed a three-day remand
of Noman's friend Billal who had joined Noman in beating up
the traffic constable.
of behaviour from sons of politicians is hardly a surprise
for Bangladeshis. It is a common phenomenon all over the land.
But the fact that a lawmaker's son can beat up a traffic policeman
because the cop was trying to enforce a traffic law, is ironic
and illustrates the fact that in Bangladesh, rules and regulations
are only for the ordinary folk.
and politically powerful, meanwhile, are above the law. An
even more sad fact is that many of those who make the law
do not have the minimum sense of responsibility to keep their
darling offspring from breaking the law.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005