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Goa State Human Rights Commission (GSHRC) today noted a "major scam" involving Rs 51.60 lakh in providing substandard food to police personnel posted on duty during the just-concluded BRICS Summit and ordered an inquiry and stoppage of payment to the contractor. "Prima facie it appears there was a major food scam of Rs 51.60 lakh pertaining to very substandard and rotten meals served to police personnel deployed at the 2016 BRICS Summit in Goa," the two-member Commission noted. The panel, headed by retired District Judge A D Salkar, was hearing a petition filed by social activist Aires Rodrigues who had claimed "inhuman treatment" was meted out to policemen and substandard food provided to them during the mega meet attended by leaders of five emerging economies, including India. "It is reported that leftover lunch packets were served for dinner and lunch the following day which majority of police personnel refused to eat because they were stale and emanated foul odour," the GSHRC said. Inspector Anuskha A Pai Bir, representing the Police Department, told the commission that the Goa government had incurred expenditure of Rs 51.60 lakh towards supply of food packets and refreshment to 5,000 policemen deployed for the summit between October 14-17. The panel said it appears that though food contract was awarded to M/s Amoncar Classic Caterers, it was a sub-contractor who supplied the eatables. The GSHRC directed the Chief Secretary to conduct a thorough investigation and fix responsibility on erring officials. The panel also ordered that the payment of the contractor be withheld pending inquiry into the entire episode.
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